Horton to repay £372,000-plus to The People

The High Court has ordered Lee Horton to repay £372,000 plus interest and costs to his former employer, The People, who has accused him of taking that amount in hundreds of bogus payments over a period of seven years when he was the Sunday newspaper’s sports editor.

Horton was fired in September after an internal investigation into allegations of financial irregularities. Horton, 52, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police last month over an allegation of obtaining money by false representation and is currently on bail.

The payment – thought to amount to around £500,000 – was ordered following a judgment at the High Court in London on Thursday.

Mirror Group Newspapers’ claim detailed more than 1,600 separate transactions from 2001 to 2007. MGN has now entered a new claim, against Horton’s wife Teresa, alleging that she and her business received £136,715 of the money.

According to the High Court writ, Horton authorised three cheques for £36,470, £15,805 and £69,045 to be paid to TB Harding, Miss T Harding and T Harding. His wife’s maiden name was Harding, according to the writ.

Horton, the writ says, authorised the cheques dishonestly and in breach of fiduciary duty. The cheques were then posted to an address in Canning Town belonging to his mother-in-law, and cashed – the writ says.

Horton also authorised more than 50 cheques, totalling £15,395, to be paid to Wymans, which was the name of an account held with his wife at Barclays Bank, between October 2006 and August 2008, the writ also states.

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