Arab Today, arab today nightjack blogger files claim against the times over email hacking
Last Updated : GMT 16:41:41
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

NightJack blogger files claim against the Times over email hacking

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today NightJack blogger files claim against the Times over email hacking

London - Arabstoday

The Lancashire detective exposed by the Times as the author of the NightJack police blog has filed a legal claim against Times Newspapers at the high court. Richard Horton filed a lawsuit against the publisher of the Times on Wednesday, according to court documents seen by MediaGuardian. Horton is suing the Times after it emerged that a reporter on the paper unlawfully accessed his email account in a bid to reveal his identity. Court documents show that Horton is claiming aggravated and exemplary damages from Times Newspapers for breach of confidence, misuse of private information and deceit. He was eventually unmasked as the author of the award-winning NightJack blog in 2009 after losing a bid to secure a high court injunction to prevent the Times from disclosing his name. It emerged this year that a former Times reporter, Patrick Foster, admitted to executives at the paper that he had accessed Horton's email account before publication. Foster, who later left the paper and has since written freelance contributions for the Guardian and Daily Telegraph, has not been named as a defendant in the legal action by Horton. In evidence to the Leveson inquiry in February, the editor of the Times, James Harding, admitted that the email hacking had previously been withheld from the high court judge who ruled on Horton's 2009 injunction application. Horton has not spoken publicly about the saga since it emerged that his email account had been breached by the newspaper. He is understood to have instructed Taylor Hampton solicitors, the law firm of prominent phone-hacking lawyer Mark Lewis, in the claim. Horton's claims all arise from the apparent unlawful accessing of his email account by Foster in May 2009. The claims for breach of confidence and misuse of private information relate directly to the alleged breach; the claim for deceit means damage caused by dishonesty and is understood to relate to a witness statement submitted to court by the Times. The email hacking only came to light in January when Simon Toms, the interim director of legal affairs at News International, the parent company of Times Newspapers, referred in his Leveson inquiry witness statement to the incident. Legal blogger David Allen Green threw the spotlight on the Leveson admissions in a series of blogposts, before the Guardian confirmed on 17 January that Foster had gained unauthorised access to Horton's email account, which is a possible offence under the Computer Misuse Act. The episode has raised uncomfortable questions for Times executives, with Lord Justice Leveson describing the 2009 submission to the high court on behalf of Foster as "utterly misleading". The fresh legal action will put further pressure on the Times to explain why it withheld information about the hacking before Mr Justice Eady at the high court in 2009.  

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