herald

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Paedo Humphries has 'no chance' of getting early release from jail

Former journalist Tom Humphries was jailed in October 2017
Former journalist Tom Humphries was jailed in October 2017

Paedophile journalist Tom Humphries will not be considered for enhanced remission by jail bosses, meaning the sex offender will remain locked up until his sentence is completed in August.

The former Irish Times sports writer was given a two-and-a-half-year jail term in October 2017 for sexually abusing a teenage girl.

The Herald understands Humphries (56) is still sharing a cell in the Midlands Prison with killer John Tighe (41), who murdered his six-and-a-half-month-old son by stuffing baby wipes into his mouth in Co Mayo in June 2013.

Rehabilitation

It had previously been reported that Humphries could be free as soon as next month if he was granted enhanced remission on his sentence, but sources have said this will not happen.

Humphries' refusal to engage in rehabilitation behind bars did not help his case for early release.

"He has no chance of getting enhanced remission. It's extremely unusual for sex offenders ever to be considered for this anyway," the source said.

"However, it's virtually unheard of for someone with the high profile of Humphries and the very serious nature of his crimes to be considered for enhanced remission.

"It's highly significant that he hasn't taken any steps in custody to address his offending behaviour by taking part in the Building Better Lives sex offender programme, so there's absolutely no expectation that he will be released early."

It emerged last May that Humphries had rejected psychological therapy in prison, turning down a place on the Building Better Lives programme.

All inmates convicted of sexual offences - against children and adults - are offered therapy to try to address their problems.

The former journalist is serving time in the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise and would have had to transfer to Arbour Hill on the capital's northside to avail of the therapy, but he declined.

Sources said Humphries' main priority is his Spanish classes, which he attends on a regular basis and is "very enthusiastic" about.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court previously heard Humphries exchanged at least 16,000 text messages with his underage female victim during a three-month period leading up to March 2011 as part of the grooming process.

He met up with her on five occasions, during which sexual acts took place.

Humphries, from Sutton, north Dublin, pleaded 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 participate in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act between January 2010 and March 2011.

These took place when the victim was aged around 16 and Humphries was 47.

Vulnerabilities

The charges are sample counts out of a larger number, including five for defilement and dozens for sexual exploitation.

The court heard Humphries made contact with the girl through his volunteer work with junior GAA teams.

Judge Karen O'Connor said he had cultivated contact of a sexual nature with the teen and was aware of certain vulnerabilities she had at the time.

He has not faced any disciplinary sanction while locked up, but was involved in an incident last September during which he verbally abused a prison officer.

On that occasion, he became irate with the staff member when a request he made for "special treatment" was denied and he described the officer as an "uneducated turnkey".

The staff member replied "I'd rather be an uneducated turnkey than an educated paedophile" before again refusing the request and suggesting Humphries behave himself.

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