Ben Roberts-Smith
Ben Roberts-Smith (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Ben Roberts-Smith told his defamation hearing in the Federal Court in Sydney today that hearing a lawyer describing him as a multiple murderer broke his heart.

"I spent my life fighting for my country and I did everything I could to make sure I did it with honour," he said. "I cannot comprehend how, on the basis of rumour and innuendo, anyone could say that in a public forum. It's devastating, quite frankly."

Roberts-Smith is Australia's most highly decorated soldier of the modern era, having been awarded the Victoria Cross in 2011 for bravery under fire.