A freelance investigator hired to trace people was paid by the News of the World more than £218,000 over three years, the phone-hacking trial has heard.
Andrew Gadd, who was a contact of ex-NoW news editor Ian Edmondson said his role was to find where people lived and who they lived with.
However, despite being paid such a large figure, Gadd only met Edmondson three times – the latest in 2009 after details of phone-hacking at the newspaper became public.
Gadd, who the court heard was paid £218,669 for 231 invoices between November 2004 and December 2007, said: "I noticed it (phone-hacking revelations) in the papers and I mentioned it to him (Edmondson).
"He did mention it was historic and he had been worried about Clive Goodman.
"But he (Edmondson) didn't really seem to know a great deal about it."
Gadd said he did not believe the NoW ever queried an invoice and paid him for his work even when he was unsuccessful.
Former NoW staff also disclosed details of the inner workings at the tabloid.
In written evidence read to the court, reporter Dominic Herbert said payments of £10,000 could be made for front-page stories from sources, while Tara Kent, who worked on the picture desk and then in an assistant management role, said managing editor Stuart Kuttner "would want to know about any payment over a few pounds" and would check the payments against the stories in the paper.
She said: "There was not much going on in the paper that Stuart wouldn't know about."
The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.