Sun crime editor Mike Sullivan has spoken of his pride at being part of a “group Sun reporters who did the job well and decently”.
Sullivan was told yesterday that no charges will be brought against him some 14 months after he was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in public office.
Since then he has been on police bail, with restrictions placed on his movements and contacts and requirements that he regularly return to police stations.
At least 22 Sun journalists have been arrested under police investigations into bribery and computer hacking in the last 18 months.
Most remain on police bail, including the three colleagues who were arrested on the same day as Sullivan in a series of dawn raids on their homes: former Sun managing editor Graham Dudman, former Sun deputy editor Fergus Shanahan and Sun news editor Chris Pharo.
The four were arrested as a result of information provided by the News Corp Management and Standards Committee.
Sullivan stepped down from covering crime stories at the time of his arrest and said he is now looking forward to getting back to work in his former role.
He said: “My good news is really tempered by the fact that so many colleagues still have this dreadful situation hanging over them.
“This wretched experience has effectively put my life on hold for 14 months. You try and park it elsewhere but it inevitably plays on your mind and the long legal process becomes a punishment in itself.”
Speaking in general about the background to the hacking scandal and subsequent police investigations he said: "I'm proud to be part of a group of Sun reporters who I felt did the job well and decently.
“We've taken a lot of stick over the last year or so. But I know the people involved and we are not criminals.”
Sullivan has covered crime stories for The Sun since 1991 and been crime editor since May 2001.
Talking about his decision to step down from that role during his 14 months on police bail, he said: “I have effectively stepped down from crime reporting for 14 months now.
“I didn't think it was appropriate for me to do that job while on police bail.
“But I'm looking forward now to getting back to work as a crime journalist. It's what I have wanted to do since I was six or seven years old and what I'd like to continue doing until I'm in my grave.”