A PRIVATE investigator has admitted he helped “rob” the Duke of Sussex of his teenage years by targeting the phone of his ex-girlfriend.

Gavin Burrows apologised after admitting there had been a “ruthless” culture in parts of the media in the early 2000s, when he said Chelsy Davy’s phone had been under surveillance.

Mr Burrows told the BBC documentary The Princes and the Press that there was a much greater interest in Prince Harry than his brother the Duke of Cambridge, when he began working for the now defunct News of the World in 2000.

Editors told him putting Prince Harry on the front page sold more copies of newspapers than William.

He said: “As explained to me by a couple of editors, Harry had basically become the new Diana.”

The BBC says Mr Burrows is a witness in legal cases against the News of the World and The Sun, but that his claims are strongly disputed and yet to be tested in court.

Prince Harry brought legal proceedings against News Group Newspapers (NGN) and Reach – formerly Mirror Group Newspapers – in 2019, just days after it was announced that the Meghan Markle was suing the Mail on Sunday after it published a letter she wrote to her father.

The Argus: Private investigator Gavin Burrows Private investigator Gavin Burrows

Mr Burrows told the BBC documentary: “There was a lot of voicemail hacking going on, there was a lot of surveillance work on her phones, on her comms.

“Chelsy would brag to her friends when she was going to see him.”

He said investigators were interested in her medical records, ex-boyfriends and details of her education.

Mr Burrows said he was “very sorry” for his actions.

“I was greedy, I was into my cocaine, and I was living in a fake state of grandeur,” he said.

Speaking about the “ruthless” culture in the media, he added: “They’ve got no morals – they absolutely have got no morals.”

“I was basically part of a group of people who robbed him (Harry) of his normal teenage years.”

Prince Harry and Chelsy met in early 2004 while she was a boarder at Stowe School.

The pair were reportedly an on-again, off-again couple until May 2010, when Chelsy announced the end of the relationship on Facebook.

Addressing rumours of a possible reconciliation in 2011, Prince Harry publicly professed himself "100 percent single", while Chelsy, who attended the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, stated that she would not marry Prince Harry due to the rising incompatibility of their life choices.

In May 2018, Chelsy was a guest at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.