Belfast Telegraph

Ex-sports journalist to be sentenced for child sex offences

A former leading sports journalist is due to be sentenced later for child sex offences.

Ex-Irish Times reporter Tom Humphries, 54, has admitted six counts of abuse of a girl under the age of 17.

Humphries, from Sutton, north Dublin, asked to be remanded in custody ahead of the sentence hearing at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

At a pre-sentence hearing earlier this month, judge Karen O'Connor was told Humphries' teenage victim has been left "suicidal and depressed" by the sexual abuse.

The court heard that Humphries exchanged thousands of text messages with the young girl as part of a grooming process.

The girl, whom he knew through sporting circles, was 14 when he first contacted her in December 2008.

Many of the messages became sexually explicit and contained graphic images, a prosecutor told the court.

A snapshot of analysed messages showed that more than 16,000 texts were exchanged over a three-month period.

When the girl was 16 Humphries took her to his Dublin apartment where they engaged in sexual activity.

The charges comprise of two counts of defilement of a child in Dublin between December 5 2010 and February 19 2011, and four counts of inviting a child to participate in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act between January 2010 and March 2011.

A defence lawyer told the court Humphries was remorseful.

Humphries was one of the most admired sports journalists in Ireland at the time of his arrest in 2012.

The journalist and author was also due to stand trial in relation to three further charges involving a separate girl, but these charges were dropped by the prosecution earlier this year.

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