An undated photograph of 13-year-old Amanda "Milly" Dowler, who was murdered in 2002. PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Milly Dowler's family offered £3m settlement by News International

The sum is one of the largest settlements ever considered by a news organisation – and reflects how the News of the World interfered with a police investigation and gave the Dowler family false hope that the schoolgirl was still alive.

THE FAMILY OF Milly Dowler, the English schoolgirl who was murdered in 2002, have been offered a £3 million (€3.5 million) settlement by Rupert Murdoch’s New International.

Amid a series of scandalous revelations about phone-hacking practices at the News of the World newspaper this summer, which led to the title’s closure, it emerged that the missing 13-year-old girl’s phone had been hacked into by the company’s staff.

It is understood that the sum includes a personal donation of £1 million to a charity by Rupert Murdoch, as well as a contribution to the family’s legal costs. The Guardian reports the family’s legal team are continuing negotiations and seeking to reach a figure closer to £3.5 million.

The figure being discussed is one of the largest ever considered by a newspaper owner – a reflection of how the company’s phone-hacking practice had not only impacted the lives of those affected by violent crime but had also interfered with a police investigation, reports the Telegraph.

The private investigator working for the News of the World who accessed Dowler’s voicemail messages, before her body was discovered, admitted to deleting messages in order to make room for new ones – leading the family to hope that the 13-year-old was still alive.

Others people whose phones were hacked by News International have also been offered compensation; actress Sienna Miller accepted a £10,000 figure and football commentator Andy Grey settled for £20,000.

Meanwhile, author JK Rowling, jockey Kieran Fallon, Paul and Sheryl Gascoigne and Kate and Gerry McCann have recently all agreed to take part in an inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.

Read more: News International close to settlement with Dowler family>

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