Retired school teacher Chris Jefferies told an inquiry into UK press standards on Monday how he had been shamelessly vilified by tabloids after he became a suspect in the high-profile murder of landscape gardener Joanna Yeates.
Jefferies, who was Yeates's landlord, said he was effectively left under house arrest by papers that conducted a witch-hunt against him after he was arrested as part of an inquiry which gripped the country last Christmas.
He was wrongly portrayed as a friend of a paedophile, questioned about his sexuality and in the aftermath of all the coverage he had changed his appearance, he told the inquiry.
They embarked on a frenzied campaign to blacken my character by publishing a series of very serious allegations about me which were completely untrue, he said.
Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak was jailed last month for the murder, and eight newspapers paid out substantial libel damages to Jefferies over their coverage while two of them, The Daily Mirror and the Sun, were also found guilty of contempt of court.
The inquiry was ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron in July amid a public outcry over widespread phone-hacking at the now closed News of the World tabloid, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp media empire.
On Monday, Ian Hurst, a former British army intelligence officer who served in Northern Ireland from 1980-1991, told the inquiry his computer had also been hacked on the instruction of the News of the World.
He also said very senior police officers had helped cover up the hacking. Hurst told the inquiry that from 2007 police knew his emails had been hacked but he was not officially told of it until this year.
He read out a statement, made during the filming of a BBC current affairs programme about computer hacking, which stated former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who went on to become Cameron's communications chief, was big pals with a lot of powerful people including police officers.
He said there was corruption in the police at the very highest level.
It is there. I've seen it, he said.
Meanwhile the inquiry chairman, Brian Leveson, said he would summon political blogger Paul Staines, who writes under the name Guido Fawkes, to explain how he had been able to leak the witness statement of Alastair Campbell, former Prime Minister Tony Blair's media chief.
(Reporting by Michael Holden)