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Tom Humphries

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Following yesterday's sentencing of Tom Humphries for grooming and sexually abusing an underage girl, details of a case involving a second victim have emerged.

The revelation comes after the leniency of the two-and-a-half year jail sentence handed to the former Irish Times journalist was met with “disgust” from investigating Gardaí and rape crisis charities.

The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of inviting a child to participate in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act between January 2010 and March 2011, as well as two counts of defilement of the child between December 5, 2010 and February 19, 2011.

The victim was just 16 years of age when the incidents took place.

The maximum sentence for this offence is life imprisonment, and many expected the convicted abuser to be jailed for at least 10 years.

It has now emerged that a second girl was allegedly attacked by Humphries on a number of occasions between March and June 2007.

According to The Irish Independent, senior Gardaí source say the nature of these offences bears a striking similarity to those for which the accused was sentenced for yesterday.

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The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has criticised the leniency of Tom Humpries' prison sentence, following reports that the convicted child abuser would be jailed for just two-and-a-half years.

The former Irish Times journalist was sentenced this afternoon after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a young girl and grooming her two years.

The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of inviting a child to participate in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act between January 2010 and March 2011.

The maximum sentence for this offence is life imprisonment.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of defilement of the child between December 5, 2010 and February 19, 2011.

The victim was just 16 years of age when the incidents took place.

Noeline Blackwell, from the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said: "We may need to look at sentencing, but certainly just the implementation of sentencing is what's important about this case.

"A view was taken that because the person had had a high position that wasn't anymore, that seemed to be the key that was deciding the length of the sentence, not the level of harm that this man purposely did many, many times to a young girl."

Judge Karen O'Connor, said she based the decision on Humphries' guilty pleas as well as his loss of reputation and livelihood.

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According to emerging reports,Tom Humphries, former sports journalist for The Irish Times, is currently awaiting sentencing for the sexual exploitation and defilement of a child.

Reporting on the case, The Irish Times confirmed that the 54-year-old had pleaded guilty to the charges last March, but had not been named publicly as he was facing trial for further sexual offences.

However, prosecuting counsel, Shane Costelloe SC, today told the court that that the State is no longer proceeding with these charges.

The journalist from Sutton in Dublin 13 pleaded guilty to six counts of abuse – two of defilement and four of inviting the participation in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act – of a girl under the age of 17. 

It is understood that the incidents took place between December 2010 and February 2011 and January 2010 and March 2011 respectively.

Judge O’Connor is in the process of arranging a date for sentencing.

Centre image: Dara MacDónaill

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