Former News of the World Royal editor Clive Goodman yesterday effectively admitted in court for the first time that he hacked the phones of Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton.
Goodman, who returned to the witness box after weeks of ill health, was accused of being more heavily involved in phone hacking with private detective Glenn Mulcaire in 2005 and 2006 than was previously heard.
In 2006, Goodman and Mulcaire pleaded guilty to hacking phones in relation to Royal aides but, jurors were told, their activities went much further.
The then Ms Middleton’s phone was hacked 155 times, Prince William’s 35 times and Prince Harry’s nine times, the Old Bailey trial heard.
Kate was even hacked on Christmas Day 2005, jurors heard.
The details emerged as Goodman was being cross examined by ex-NotW editor Andy Coulson’s lawyer Timothy Langdale QC.
He asked: “I’m going to suggest you had direct contact with Glenn Mulcaire significantly before the time you have told us - that you yourself had been hacking on a much wider scale than you have told this court about.”
Goodman said he had not been asked a direct question.
When he was questioned about the three hacked Royal aides, the witness said: “I’m not on trial for hacking. I completely agree I hacked these people’s phones.
“They were never put to me individually by anyone in 2006/2007.
“I am happy to give a full account of every single one of these.”
Mr Langdale went on: “Are you telling us you have forgotten that you hacked Kate Middleton 155 times, Prince William 35 times, Prince Harry nine times and all the others. Had you forgotten that?”
He replied: “No, I did not recall the specifics. The CPS have made it clear there are no other hacking charges.
“I have not forgotten. I did not recall specifics.”
Mr Langdale said it was “simply not true” and he could not have forgotten hacking Kate Middleton 155 times.
He replied: “Yes, I’m sure I did,” adding: “There has been no intention to deceive you or anybody else in relation to phone hacking.
“I was terrified of the whole thing. I was mortified.”
Goodman, of Addlestone, Surrey, denies two counts of conspiring with Coulson and others to commit misconduct in public office.
All seven defendants in the trial deny the charges against them.
The case was adjourned until today.