Police kept the extent of hacking at the News of the World out of the public eye out of "discretion" for victims which included members of the royal family, jurors heard today.
Former NoW royal editor Clive Goodman (pictured: Reuters) repeated he had always been "open and honest" about his activities, despite being confronted with evidence yesterday that he repeatedly hacked Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Compared with a NoW colleague, he said he was just a "spear carrier" rather than the "five act opera" of hacking.
He told the Old Bailey that, at the time he was caught, "there was not a single significant story broken at the NoW in the last couple of years" that the colleague, who cannot be named, had not got from tampering with phones.
Under renewed questioning by former NoW editor Andy Coulson's lawyer, Goodman, 56, from Addlestone, Surrey, denied staying quiet about the extent of his phone-hacking when he appealed against his sacking.
Timothy Langdale QC said: "The one thing you were not going to tell them was the extent of your activities."
Goodman replied: "As I said yesterday, I have been completely open and honest about the extent of phone-hacking.
"The reason these things did not come into the public domain before was the police and CPS in 2006/07 decided they were not going to publish things to protect the discretion of the victims.
"The only reason they came up now is they were not out there in the public domain at the time."
He went on: "Whatever I have been accused of I have admitted to and paid an extremely high price for it."
He said when he appealed against his dismissal in 2007 he wanted others at the NoW to "admit their responsibility".
Goodman is on trial with Coulson for conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office in relation to paying police for information.
He does not face any further hacking charges.
Coulson along with ex-NoW editor Rebekah Brooks and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner are accused of conspiring to hack phones. All seven defendants deny the charges against them.
Goodman hacked Kate Middleton's phone and listened to a message from Prince William telling her about being ambushed and shot with blanks on a night exercise at Aldershot, the court heard.
Langdale pointed out the voicemail from the prince telling his then girlfriend about the incident in January 2006.
The lawyer said: "Who hacked Kate Middleton's phone to get that message?"
Goodman replied: "It may have been me, it may have been Glenn Mulcaire. It may have been both."
Langdale said Goodman had indicated previously that another message from Prince William to royal aide Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton was the source of the story.
He then presented the witness with phone records showing the future Duchess of Cambridge's voicemails were accessed several times between January 25 and January 27 2006.
One hacking at midnight on the 27th lasted seven minutes and 12 seconds.
Goodman responded: "I accept I hacked her phone but I think Mulcaire also hacked her phone.
"It was going on continually throughout. It is quite obvious here. I have never denied it."
Goodman later recalled another incidence of hacking involving Middleton which happened a month before his arrest.
He was asked about an email he sent a colleague in July 2006, saying he was going to speak to Clarence House about a story, but it was "100 per cent".
Asked what the email referred to, Goodman said: "I think Kate Middleton was trying to start up some sort of business and clothing line, children's clothing maybe, and it was not going well."
Langdale asked if it came from hacking.
The witness paused before replying: "I think it was, yes, regrettably."
The trial was adjourned until 10am tomorrow.