Convicted paedophile Tom Humphries has been released from prison after serving 20 months for grooming and sexually abusing a 14 year-old girl.
The disgraced former sports journalist walked out of the Midlands Prison this morning.
The 56 year-old was sentenced to two-and-half years in prison in October 2017 after pleading guilty to 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 take part in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act between January 2010 and March 2011.
The sentences, handed down to the former ‘Irish Times’ journalist by Judge Karen O’Connor at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, ran concurrently.
The court had heard evidence suggesting Humphries groomed the teenage girl for two years by texting her on a daily basis, before bringing her to his apartment for sexual activity when she was 16.
Judge O’Connor said she was of the view Humphries had manipulated the young girl and said there were a number of aggravating factors to his offending.
The journalist initiated contact with the girl when she was 14 and initiated the sexualised content of text messages they exchanged.
He had cultivated this contact.
Humphries, the judge said, was aware of the vulnerability of the girl and the fact she had an eating disorder.
She noted now the abuse had left the girl with feelings of guilt and shame.
Judge O’Connor said the young woman he targeted had lost most of her childhood and her innocence and had continued to suffer in adulthood, even though she was “a very strong person”.
The court had previously heard a garda investigation discovered there had been daily contact with the teenager via text message, starting in December 2008 when she was 14.
Over 16,000 texts were exchanged between them in the four months before his activities were uncovered in March 2011.
His behaviour was only discovered after one of his daughters found explicit text messages on an old phone she got off him to give to a charity which was recycling handsets.
Humphries identified the then-teenager through his volunteer coaching of GAA teams.
In a victim impact statement she revealed she became depressed and suicidal after her ordeal.
Now a young woman, she said she had lost her childhood and her trust in men.
IT was easy to forget that the celebrated sportswriter Tom Humphries took six years to confess to his crimes. At his sentencing in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last Tuesday, he looked resolved to his fate. Humphries, 54, had spent the last three weeks waiting for this day in prison - because he had chosen to go straight to jail rather than apply for bail. It was as though he couldn't get there fast enough. Such was his guilt that he had refused psychiatric help because he wanted to suffer. He wanted to feel the pain.