A FORMER leading Irish sports journalist has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for the abuse of an underage girl.
Tom Humphries, who wrote for The Irish Times, admitted to defiling a child under the age of 17 before his sentencing this afternoon.
The 54-year-old first contacted the girl in December 2008 when she was just 14 – but his activities were not uncovered until 2011.
It is understood that he met the girl while volunteering as the coach of a local GAA team.
Humphries, from Sutton in Dublin, sat in the dock with his hands over his face as Judge Karen O’Connor delivered her sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday.
He had voluntarily asked to be remanded in custody ahead of the sentence hearing.
The court heard how Humphries, who was born in London, exchanged over 16,000 text messages with his young victim as he attempted to groom her over a three-month period.
A number of the messages were sexually explicit and contained graphic images.
Two years later when the girl was 16, Humphries brought her to his Dublin apartment where he engaged in sexual activity with her.
The disgraced writer was sentenced to four-and-a-half years for a number of offences – all of which occurred between December 2010 and March 2011.
He was convicted of two counts of defilement of a child and four counts of inviting a child to participate in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act.