Saturday 21 September 2019

Sports journalist Tom Humphries has written 'a quite personal' letter to victim, court hears ahead of sentencing

  • Former sports journalist to be sentenced today
  • Humphries has pleaded guilty to six offences relating to defilement and exploitation of child
  • Courts hears of letter of apology Humphries has written to victim
  • Humphries was first arrested in 2012
Tom Humphries. Photo: Collins Courts
Tom Humphries. Photo: Collins Courts
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Prominent journalist and author Tom Humphries has written a letter of apology to a young woman he has admitted defiling and sexually exploiting as a child.

The disclosure came as a sentencing hearing for the former Irish Times sports writer is due to get underway today.

Humphries (54), with an address in Sutton, Dublin, pleaded guilty to six sex offences at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last March.

Prosecution counsel Shane Costello SC told Judge Karen O’Connor this morning that he had been handed a bundle of documents by the defence comprising around 50 pages.

He said these included a letter written by Humphries addressed to his victim.

Mr Costello described it was “a quite personal letter” of apology.

He said that in the past the issue of direct contact or perceived direct contact between a defendant and their victim had been viewed by courts as being problematic.

The barrister asked the judge to decide if it was appropriate for the letter to be given to the victim.

Mr Costello said she was in the court building, but had not seen the letter and had not been made aware of its existence yet.

Judge O’Connor said she would let the matter stand for now.

The sentencing hearing is expected to last an hour and a half, once it gets underway.

Although Humphries pleaded guilty last March, that plea could only be reported for the first time in June when a second set of charges against him, in relation to another child, were dropped.

M Costello SC is to outline the facts of the case to Judge O’Connor today.

Humphries has attended court for today’s hearing.

He sat in the body of the court, wearing a blue shirt, patterned tie, navy suit jacket, black trousers and black Nike runners, as he waited for his case to be called.

Last March, he admitted to six charges when he was arraigned.

Two of the charges related to engaging in a sexual act with a girl under the age of 17 on or about December 5, 2010 and February 19, 2011.

The sexual acts occurred at an apartment in Dublin.

The other four charges admitted by him were of sexually exploiting the same child by inviting her to engage or participate in a sexually explicit, indecent or obscene act on or about January 1, 2010 February 15, 2011 and March 4 and 18 the same year.

At that hearing Mr Humphries only spoke in court to say “guilty” after each of the six charges was put to him.

A number of other charges on the indictment are to be taken into account when he is being sentenced.

Humphries was arrested in relation to child sex allegations in September 2012 but the matters did not come to court until earlier this year.

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