Charlotte Church outside the Royal Courts of Justice

Charlotte Church: 'Today marks the settlement of my claim'

Charlotte Church has confirmed she has reached a settlement with the publisher of the News of the World over her phone-hacking claim.

In a statement read outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London today, the singer condemned what she said was "the industrial scale of their illegal activity" and said: "In my opinion, they are not sorry, only sorry they were caught."

Church is reported to have accepted a £600,000 out-of-court settlement from News Group Newspapers, including her legal fees.

She said in her statement today: "Today is an important day for me and my family. I brought this legal claim because we wanted to find out the truth about what this newspaper group has done in pursuit of stories about our family."

Church added: "I wanted to bring the individuals responsible to court, to explain why they did this to my family.

"Today marks the settlement of my claim and the day News International admitted their wrongdoing in court. I'm obviously happy with the result in one sense, however I've also discovered that despite the apology which the newspaper has just given in court, these people were prepared to go to any lengths to prevent me exposing their behaviour."

She said the court heard about "the deliberate destruction of documents over a number of years" by News International.

It was reported on Friday that Church had reached a settlement, but that today's hearing would still go ahead to discuss the settlement in more detail.

Earlier this month News International agreed a further 15 settlements for individuals who claimed their phones had been hacked, including ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne and comedian Steve Coogan. This followed 37 other claims which were settled by News Group Newspapers in January.

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