In a ground-breaking judgment handed down by Mr Justice Mann at the High Court, the Mirror was ordered to pay eight victims of phone hacking a total of £1.2 million.

Awards varied from £72,500 for cabin crew member Lauren Alcorn to £260,000 for actress Sadie Frost. These awards comfortably exceed the previous largest award of damages for invasion of privacy, in Max Mosley's case against News of the World, of £60,000. It is not known whether MGN will ask for permission to appeal.

Mr Justice Mann provided a detailed analysis in his 360 page judgment of the reasons for the awards in light of phone hacking at MGN titles which he found to be "widespread, institutionalised and long standing".

With Operation Golding – the police investigation into phone hacking at MGN titles – still continuing and victims of phone hacking still being notified by the police, MGN is likely to face many more claims. Today's judgment concerned only eight claimants and was by way of a test case in order to provide guidance to future claimants on the amount of compensation they can expect to recover.