Newstalk
Newstalk

13.06 24 Oct 2017


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Updated 16.05

Tom Humphries has been jailed for two and a half years for sexually abusing a young girl in his Dublin home after grooming her for two years.

The former Irish Times sports journalist first made contact with her in 2008 and went on to send her thousands of sexually-explicit messages.

Humphries was 45 when he first text the girl in December 2008. She was just 14.

She told gardaí she didn't know how he got her number but thought it might have been through his volunteer work with the GAA.

Their text conversations became explicit over time and after two years of regular messaging, he arranged to collect her outside her school one day.

The court heard he brought her back to his apartment in Santry in Dublin where they engaged in certain sexual acts.

Sentencing

Handing down the sentence this morning, Judge Karen O’Connor said the young woman had lost most of her childhood and her innocence as a result of Humphries' actions.

The fact he initiated the contact, their disparity in age and status, and the nature of the sexual activity were all considered as aggravating factors.

However, Justice O'Connor said the worst of all was the impact his actions had on the girl.

She said the girl had become upset when Humphries sent her explicit photos a few months after meeting her - however the then 45-year-old continued to pursue her.

She said she had a headline sentence of four years in mind but had reduced it based on his guilty pleas as well as his loss of reputation and livelihood.

Before sentencing him to two and a half years in prison, she said the higher the profile and success of a member of a society, the greater the fall.


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