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 NotW royal editor Clive Goodman 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 NotW 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 NotW in the last couple of years" that the colleague, who cannot be named, had not got from tampering with phones.
Goodman, 56, of Addlestone, Surrey, was dismissed in 2007 after he pleaded guilty and was jailed for hacking royal aides with private detective Glenn Mulcaire.
Under renewed questioning by former NotW editor Andy Coulson's lawyer, he 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 NotW 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 NotW editor Rebekah Brooks and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner are accused of conspiring to hack phones. All seven defendants deny the charges against them.