'SUBSTANTIAL' damages have been paid out to the family of 'lotto gran' Susanne Hinte.

The Sun has paid a five figure sum to the family of the late Susanne Hinte, from Worcester dubbed ‘Lotto Gran’ by the tabloids, for publishing intimate ‘revenge porn’ images, with a statement read in open court marking a legal first.

It was the first statement ever to be read in open court in a privacy case for a deceased person.

Ms Hinte's daughter, Natasha Douglas, 30, appointed JMW Solicitors to pursue the claim against News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, on behalf of her mother’s estate.

Ms Hinte died in August 2017, aged 49, following a suspected heart attack at her home in Borrowdale Drive, Worcester.

Ms Douglas said: “I felt very strongly that it was important to continue this claim against The Sun on behalf of my late mother - not only because it’s what she would have wanted, but also to hold them accountable and make other people aware that it’s totally unacceptable to intrude into someone’s life as they did in this case.

“Their actions caused a huge amount of pain - revenge porn is an awful thing, no matter who you are.

"We are all entitled to a private life, but they stole my mother’s dignity with their sheer callousness.

"They were incredibly cruel to my mother, but today I’m glad to see her vindicated. What they did was wrong. I can’t change what happened but I’m pleased to have been able to secure justice on her behalf.”

Nick McAleenan, a partner and media and data privacy law specialist at JMW Solicitors, acted on behalf of Susanne’s estate, bringing a claim against The Sun for the misuse of private information, breach of confidence, copyright and data protection law, and the distress which the article caused to Susanne.

In an astonishing show of hypocrisy, The Sun had been running a campaign calling for those guilty of publishing revenge porn images to be jailed. The Sun claims that it didn’t know that the images were stolen.

Mr McAleenan said: “This is an important case which raises serious issues regarding the legal rights of victims of revenge porn and is also significant in that it concerns the privacy rights of a deceased individual.

“The case also raises difficult questions as to whether press standards have really improved since Leveson - we’ve obviously heard that “Leveson 2” isn’t necessary, but cases like this suggest otherwise. It seems that tabloid misbehavior is alive and well – at least at some organisations.”

The Daily Mail has failed to remove the image from its own website, despite several requests to do so.

Ms Hinte was given the ‘lotto gran’ moniker in January 2016 after sending a lottery ticket to Camelot questioning whether she’d won half of the National Lottery jackpot, worth £66m, claiming that the ticket had been damaged in her washing machine.

Ms Hinte, who suffered with a heart condition, attempted to make the most of her new-found ‘fame’, but things took a turn for the worst when she borrowed a mobile phone from her then-friend, Julie Howard, who later sold intimate images of Suzanne at her most vulnerable to The Sun.

The Sun published one of the explicit images of Suzanne and described what the others showed in an article that appeared in The Sun on Sunday and on the newspaper’s website in April 2016.

Howard was later prosecuted for revenge porn and found guilty.

The article was to have a damaging effect on Ms Hinte's mental health, causing enormous distress and embarrassment. Her two children and grandchildren were also judged to have been affected by the image of their mother splashed across a national newspaper.

Mr McAleenan continued: “This was a serious intrusion and misuse of Susanne’s private information.

"The Sun showed a complete disregard for her legal rights.

"As a direct result of its decision to publish the distasteful and unnecessary article, she and her children suffered considerable embarrassment, upset and distress. They were subjected to relentless abuse, mockery and harassment, both in person and online.

“After what has been an incredibly stressful and upsetting time for Susanne’s family, we are pleased to have been able to represent Mrs Douglas to secure justice for her mother.”