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Milly Dowler family to sue over phone hacking as investigation widens

The families of two young girls murdered by Ian Huntley in 2002 have also been contacted by police investigating the News of the World phone scandal.

Milly Dowler's parents and sister outside the Old Bailer court in London on 24 June.
Milly Dowler's parents and sister outside the Old Bailer court in London on 24 June.
Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

THE PARENTS of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler are reported to be suing the News of the World after allegations arose that the newspaper hacked into the 13-year-old’s phone after she went missing in 2002.

Police are investigating the claims and are to meet with the newspaper’s executives.

Investigators on the hacking case have also made contact with the parents of two young girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, who were killed by Ian Huntley in 2002, over fears their phones were also hacked.

It is understood that the hacking investigation centres on the activities of Glen Mulcaire, a private investigator who used to work for the News of the World. An earlier investigation into allegations of hacking the phones of members of the royal family led to Mulcaire’s conviction for conspiracy to access phone messages.

The News of the World’s editor at the time, Clive Goodman, was also convicted.

The Dowler family is launching legal action against the newspaper, according to Journalism.co.uk.

Their lawyer Mark Lewis said that the family has been told that their own phones were hacked, as well as Milly’s phone. He said that what had been done to their daughter’s voice messages had potentially gotten in the way of the police investigation into her disappearance.

Rebekah Brooks, who was the paper’s editor at the time of the alleged Dowler phone hacking, issued a statement today in which she said she was “sickened” by the “appalling” events outlined in the allegations.  Brooks said that, if true, the claims would have an unforgivable devastating effect on the Dowler family.

The BBC reports that Brooks has promised the “strongest possible action” if the Dowler allegations are proven correct.

Read more: News of the World to be quizzed by police >

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