A teenage girl who was sexually exploited and abused by former sports journalist Tom Humphries has said she was left depressed and suicidal by the ordeal.

The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the former Irish Times journalist began texting the girl when she was 14 and eventually engaged in sexual acts with her when she was 16.

He had made contact with her through his work with sports' teams.

The text messages continued for more than two years.

At one point, 16,000 text messages were exchanged during a three-month period.

Humphries was reported to gardaí after his family discovered sexually explicit text messages on one of his old phones.

Before the sentence hearing began today, the victim refused to accept a written apology from Humphries which he had offered through his lawyers.

Humphries has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 24 October.

The court heard he began texting the girl in late 2008 when she was 14 and continued until 2011.

The messages began as encouragement to the girl whom he knew through junior sports' teams.

They later became sexually explicit and eventually resulted in him meeting the girl and engaging in sexual acts with her.

Humphries, aged 54, from Corr Castle, Sutton, Co Dublin was before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for sentence for the sexual exploitation and defilement of a child.

He had pleaded guilty to six offences against a girl under the age of 17.

The court heard he met the girl through volunteering with sports' teams and had initiated contact through mobile phone messages.

The girl did not know how he got her number but presumed it was through her sports club.

The messages began in 2008 and continued until 2011.

He had at first encouraged the girl in her sporting efforts and had advised her to tackle an eating disorder.

However, later the messages became sexually explicit and eventually resulted in him arranging to meet her.

The court heard the first time they met he had collected her outside a school on Sunday morning when she was supposed to be somewhere else.

He took her back to his apartment before engaging in sexual acts with her. She was 16 at the time.

The meetings and contact continued and at one point 16,000 text messages had been exchanged in a three-month period.

Many of the messages contained sexually explicit language and pictures. Some of these were outlined to the court.

Prosecuting Counsel Shane Costelloe told the court the circumstances which led to the prosecution were unusual.

He said Humphries had given an old mobile phone to a family member for donation to charity and when a SIM card was later put into the phone the text messages were discovered.

He was confronted by family members and two other phones were taken from him and handed over to gardaí.

The court was told Humphries became distraught when confronted and was taken to hospital by family members who believed he was at risk of suicide.

The victim in this case was later identified through social media and made a statement about her involvement with Humphries.

The girl, who was present in court but did not wish to give evidence, thanked his family for reporting the matter to gardaí and "saving" her from the situation.

She said she was left with feelings of depression, guilt and shame and her education and social and sporting life had suffered as a result.

She said she had lost her childhood and lost her trust in men.

She also described how the court process had been "dragged out for year" and she had lost time from school, college and work as a result while also having to relive the events each time.

Defence Counsel Hugh Hartnett told the court his client had twice attempted suicide after his crimes were uncovered.

He handed numerous reports and character references including medical and psychological reports.

Mr Hartnett said it was possible to see from the reports that Mr Humphries may have suffered from impaired judgment at the time due to neurological issues outlined by medical reports.

He said while the medical evidence would not be enough to prove a defence of insanity or lack of intent, it may have been a factor in his judgment and he asked the judge to take it into account.

He said at the time of the offences his client was suffering from depression, had been separated from his wife and was living alone.

He said he had been a highly regarded journalist who reported "with some brilliance" on sporting issues.

Since his crimes came to light he had suffered greatly.

He had lost his job and had been pilloried in the press.

He was full of remorse and wanted to go into custody today, Mr Hartnett said.

Judge Karen O'Connor said she had a lot of material to consider and would pass sentence on 24 October.