Singer Paul Weller says he’s delighted at winning STG10,000 ($A18,000) privacy damages for three of his children whose faces were “plastered” over a newspaper website.
Weller, 55, sued Associated Newspapers for misuse of private information on behalf of daughter Dylan, who was 16 when the seven unpixellated pictures appeared on MailOnline in October 2012, and twin sons John Paul and Bowie, who were 10 months old.
The pictures were published after a paparazzo followed Weller and the children on a shopping trip through the streets of Santa Monica, California, taking photos without their consent despite being asked to stop.
Associated Newspapers argued that they were entirely innocuous and inoffensive images taken in public places and that the Wellers had previously chosen to open up their private family life to public gaze to a significant degree.
The former frontman of The Jam and The Style Council and his 27-year-old wife Hannah were reacting to a ruling by Mr Justice Dingemans at London’s High Court that there was a misuse of private information and a breach of the Data Protection Act which merited an award of STG5000 to Dylan and STG2500 each to the boys.
The judge said that the photographs were published in circumstances where Dylan, Bowie and John Paul had a reasonable expectation of privacy – and the balance came down in favour of finding that the right to respect for private and family life overrode the right to freedom of expression.
A spokesman for MailOnline said that it was deeply disappointed by the judgment and intended to appeal.
But the Wellers said the case had been an “important step” in protecting the rights of children.
“We are absolutely delighted with the positive outcome of our privacy case against ANL, as we are with the fact that in a detailed and very carefully reasoned judgment, the court has upheld our complaint that unpixellated photographs taken of our children whilst out enjoying some quality time with their family should not be published without consent,” a statement said.