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Monday 23 September 2019

Paedophile journalist Humphries freed from prison after 22 months

Out of jail: Tom Humphries hides his face with his bag as he leaves Midlands Prison early yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Out of jail: Tom Humphries hides his face with his bag as he leaves Midlands Prison early yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Convicted paedophile Tom Humphries has been released from prison after serving 22 months for grooming and sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.

The disgraced former sports journalist covered his face as he slipped out of the Midlands Prison at just after 6.30am yesterday.

Humphries was then driven away from the high security jail.

A dark Toyota car had pulled up at the entrance of the jail moments earlier, and Humphries made a dart for the vehicle just as a truck arrived to make a delivery.

With his jacket zipped up over his face, a purple hat pulled down low over his brow, and a large hold-all bag held on his shoulder covering his face, he jumped into the back of the car.

A woman wearing a white hat aided him, and an older man was driving the car which then headed in the direction of Dublin.

Wearing light grey tracksuit bottoms and a pair of blue trainers, Humphries appears to have lost a lot of weight during his time behind bars.

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.

He also pleaded guilty to 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 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 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 had daily contact with the teenager via text message, starting in December 2008 when she was 14.

More than 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.

Irish Independent

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