Author Topic: Tom Humphries  (Read 24801 times)

Main Street

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #255 on: November 07, 2017, 01:25:26 AM »
They're not commenting on the crime. They're commenting on their experience of Tom Humphries. How exactly would their experience of their friend change if he was found guilty of something they didn't know about?
I agree but by the same token, why should this be taken into consideration during the judicial process?
Character references do refer directly to the charge in the context of the accused, otherwise a reference would have little relevance.
'I have known Joe Blogs for 30 years and I can say in all honesty that I have never known him to drive under the affluence of alcohol before, I believe this incident is an aberration and Joe has learned his lesson as he is a responsible person etc etc.'

It's up those who write a reference to be well acquainted with the charges and to know the plea of the accused. Walsh referred to the charges and the terrible suffering on the young girl in his reference, though overall it contained little else of note.
The judge did say she took into consideration the 2 references and also the mitigation factors into the sentencing. Those factors were the guilty plea and the big fall from grace. I doubt if Walsh's character reference held much if any weight with the judge. The judge appeared to put much focus on the fall from grace of the accused.

My gripe is that such a fall from grace is a mitigation factor in this sentencing as opposed to the depth of the trauma held by the young girl. If an elderly adult coach with zero public profile had groomed a young girl and had sex with her, would he have received a more lengthy sentence because he had not been seen to be already punished by such a fall from lofty grace?
I'd say the priority criteria for mitigation with the sentencing should lie elsewhere.

Was there any claim for damages by the young girl? was there even an offer made?
Is it up to the family to provide the cost for psychological support?

There are rules in writing a reference for a court case.  The main one is that you must not refer to the offence in the reference.  You may write about the character of the individual but not make statements regarding the crime.
Lawyers will select references from the range provided and choose those from individuals across the social and professional spectrum to build a favourable picture of the defendant.

Damages can be claimed from victims' funds provided by the state such as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
If what you say is true then it would make  a reference even more worthless in court.
However,
according to Walsh he referred to the crime in his  reference
It was reported that 
'Walsh expressed shock at his offending´ in the reference

According to senior counsel Michael O’Higgins

http://www.newstalk.com/Barrister-denounces-backlash-against-Tom-Humphries-character-referees

He said criminal sentences are made up of five or six components – adding that while character references are taken into account, they are “at the back-end of the queue.”

In every reference; in any case; a person providing the reference will be directed to say, ‘I know the circumstances of the case and I absolutely abhor and do not condone the behaviour,’” he said.

“They then go on to comment on that aspect of the personality that they know - and it is to put a full picture before the court.

“I think people get angry because in some way or another they think it is an insult to the victim or in some way or another they think they are condoning the actions and it is neither of those things.

“It is a way of putting down one piece in a rather large jigsaw. It has a place but its place can be very easily overstated.”

seafoid

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #256 on: November 07, 2017, 04:04:57 AM »
They're not commenting on the crime. They're commenting on their experience of Tom Humphries. How exactly would their experience of their friend change if he was found guilty of something they didn't know about?
I agree but by the same token, why should this be taken into consideration during the judicial process?
Character references do refer directly to the charge in the context of the accused, otherwise a reference would have little relevance.
'I have known Joe Blogs for 30 years and I can say in all honesty that I have never known him to drive under the affluence of alcohol before, I believe this incident is an aberration and Joe has learned his lesson as he is a responsible person etc etc.'

It's up those who write a reference to be well acquainted with the charges and to know the plea of the accused. Walsh referred to the charges and the terrible suffering on the young girl in his reference, though overall it contained little else of note.
The judge did say she took into consideration the 2 references and also the mitigation factors into the sentencing. Those factors were the guilty plea and the big fall from grace. I doubt if Walsh's character reference held much if any weight with the judge. The judge appeared to put much focus on the fall from grace of the accused.

My gripe is that such a fall from grace is a mitigation factor in this sentencing as opposed to the depth of the trauma held by the young girl. If an elderly adult coach with zero public profile had groomed a young girl and had sex with her, would he have received a more lengthy sentence because he had not been seen to be already punished by such a fall from lofty grace?
I'd say the priority criteria for mitigation with the sentencing should lie elsewhere.

Was there any claim for damages by the young girl? was there even an offer made?
Is it up to the family to provide the cost for psychological support?

There are rules in writing a reference for a court case.  The main one is that you must not refer to the offence in the reference.  You may write about the character of the individual but not make statements regarding the crime.
Lawyers will select references from the range provided and choose those from individuals across the social and professional spectrum to build a favourable picture of the defendant.

Damages can be claimed from victims' funds provided by the state such as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
If what you say is true then it would make  a reference even more worthless in court.
However,
according to Walsh he referred to the crime in his  reference
It was reported that 
'Walsh expressed shock at his offending´ in the reference

According to senior counsel Michael O’Higgins

http://www.newstalk.com/Barrister-denounces-backlash-against-Tom-Humphries-character-referees

He said criminal sentences are made up of five or six components – adding that while character references are taken into account, they are “at the back-end of the queue.”

In every reference; in any case; a person providing the reference will be directed to say, ‘I know the circumstances of the case and I absolutely abhor and do not condone the behaviour,’” he said.

“They then go on to comment on that aspect of the personality that they know - and it is to put a full picture before the court.

“I think people get angry because in some way or another they think it is an insult to the victim or in some way or another they think they are condoning the actions and it is neither of those things.

“It is a way of putting down one piece in a rather large jigsaw. It has a place but its place can be very easily overstated.”

Most prisoners in Roi come from 3 areas.  Inner city Dublin, Tallaght and Darndale. Character references help mitigate sentences for people from other areas .Criminal can be habitual or once off. The crime may be as a result of a personal traged or it may be systematic. The character reference examines this

 Sex crimes are different because they are also committed by middle class people.  And everyone looks down on paedophiles.   Even scobies. 
"you can try and intimidate us, but f**k youse, we're going to win an All-Ireland anyway"

Main Street

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #257 on: November 07, 2017, 01:11:31 PM »
Most prisoners in Roi come from 3 areas.  Inner city Dublin, Tallaght and Darndale. Character references help mitigate sentences for people from other areas .Criminal can be habitual or once off. The crime may be as a result of a personal traged or it may be systematic. The character reference examines this
For the record, it is not location but social/economic status which determines the likelihood of imprisonment, also add on ethnicity. A tiny ethnic group, the Travellers, make up 10% of the male and 22% of the female prisoners in Ireland


Quote
Sex crimes are different because they are also committed by middle class people.  And everyone looks down on paedophiles.   Even scobies
Sex criminal rapists are mainly of a lower socioeconomic status, pedophiles are more of a mixed bunch I'd guess.
When it came to sentencing in this case, it would appear the judge took into careful consideration the fall from social grace as a part of his punishment already served. I came across that opinion (or similar) reported quite a few times, 'ah sure hasn't he already suffered greatly, isn't his life as he knew it in bits', 'hasn't he been made to suffer enough'?
'the sentence is about right'.

seafoid

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #258 on: November 07, 2017, 01:22:57 PM »
Most prisoners in Roi come from 3 areas.  Inner city Dublin, Tallaght and Darndale. Character references help mitigate sentences for people from other areas .Criminal can be habitual or once off. The crime may be as a result of a personal traged or it may be systematic. The character reference examines this
For the record, it is not location but social/economic status which determines the likelihood of imprisonment, also add on ethnicity. A tiny ethnic group, the Travellers, make up 10% of the male and 22% of the female prisoners in Ireland


Quote
Sex crimes are different because they are also committed by middle class people.  And everyone looks down on paedophiles.   Even scobies
Sex criminal rapists are mainly of a lower socioeconomic status, pedophiles are more of a mixed bunch I'd guess.
When it came to sentencing in this case, it would appear the judge took into careful consideration the fall from social grace as a part of his punishment already served. I came across that opinion (or similar) reported quite a few times, 'ah sure hasn't he already suffered greatly, isn't his life as he knew it in bits', 'hasn't he been made to suffer enough'?
'the sentence is about right'.
I imagine that sex crimes are not driven by economic factors. Poverty seems to be the main crime.
"you can try and intimidate us, but f**k youse, we're going to win an All-Ireland anyway"

criostlinn

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #259 on: November 11, 2017, 09:35:18 AM »
I see this case is back in the news

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/former-gaa-coach-jailed-for-seven-years-for-dozens-of-indecent-assaults-on-two-young-boys-36308209.html

Here are a couple of articles  Eamon Sweeney wrote about it a while back

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-football/hold-the-back-page-courage-takes-many-forms-30282655.html

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/eamonn-sweeney-real-bravery-is-surviving-abuse-eric-35265976.html

I thinks its fair to say this guy was a monster who used his position as coach of the u12 team to prey on young boys.

When it comes to character references for someone like this what do people think is acceptable. Would it be right for a high up official in Eastern Harp and Sligo GAA to write a glowing reference for the court describing how he was a great community man and attributing the skills of current players to this monsters great coaching and mentor ship. 

Lar Naparka

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #260 on: November 11, 2017, 11:29:20 AM »
I see this case is back in the news

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/former-gaa-coach-jailed-for-seven-years-for-dozens-of-indecent-assaults-on-two-young-boys-36308209.html

Here are a couple of articles  Eamon Sweeney wrote about it a while back

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-football/hold-the-back-page-courage-takes-many-forms-30282655.html

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/eamonn-sweeney-real-bravery-is-surviving-abuse-eric-35265976.html

I thinks its fair to say this guy was a monster who used his position as coach of the u12 team to prey on young boys.

When it comes to character references for someone like this what do people think is acceptable. Would it be right for a high up official in Eastern Harp and Sligo GAA to write a glowing reference for the court describing how he was a great community man and attributing the skills of current players to this monsters great coaching and mentor ship.
That's a difficult one alright. I think if I was the official in question, I would stop well short of issuing a glowing character reference  but I would give an honest opinion of what I had thought of the accused before the allegations were made known. To do otherwise would be to attempt to influence the judge's verdict.
I mean it would be up to the judge to consider all aspects of the case before the court and arrive at a verdict after considering all the evidence presented in court.
In my book, individuals should be presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty in a court of law. I'd be confident that even if I said I found the accused to be an enthusiastic and committed underage coach, the judge would figure out what his motives for spending so much time with young people really were.

Itchy

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #261 on: November 11, 2017, 12:23:03 PM »
I see this case is back in the news

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/former-gaa-coach-jailed-for-seven-years-for-dozens-of-indecent-assaults-on-two-young-boys-36308209.html

Here are a couple of articles  Eamon Sweeney wrote about it a while back

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-football/hold-the-back-page-courage-takes-many-forms-30282655.html

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/eamonn-sweeney-real-bravery-is-surviving-abuse-eric-35265976.html

I thinks its fair to say this guy was a monster who used his position as coach of the u12 team to prey on young boys.

When it comes to character references for someone like this what do people think is acceptable. Would it be right for a high up official in Eastern Harp and Sligo GAA to write a glowing reference for the court describing how he was a great community man and attributing the skills of current players to this monsters great coaching and mentor ship.
That's a difficult one alright. I think if I was the official in question, I would stop well short of issuing a glowing character reference  but I would give an honest opinion of what I had thought of the accused before the allegations were made known. To do otherwise would be to attempt to influence the judge's verdict.
I mean it would be up to the judge to consider all aspects of the case before the court and arrive at a verdict after considering all the evidence presented in court.
In my book, individuals should be presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty in a court of law. I'd be confident that even if I said I found the accused to be an enthusiastic and committed underage coach, the judge would figure out what his motives for spending so much time with young people really were.

How could you say something positive about this guy. Everything thought of him previously was a lie as he no doubt manipulated his way with people in his community and GAA club to abuse children. His life in my book is defined by this. Anyone who would write a character reference for him is a buffoon. Its not difficulty at all Lar, not one bit. Judge shouldn't even be listening to such nonsense in cases like this.

Lar Naparka

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #262 on: November 11, 2017, 01:32:48 PM »
I see this case is back in the news

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/former-gaa-coach-jailed-for-seven-years-for-dozens-of-indecent-assaults-on-two-young-boys-36308209.html

Here are a couple of articles  Eamon Sweeney wrote about it a while back

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-football/hold-the-back-page-courage-takes-many-forms-30282655.html

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/eamonn-sweeney-real-bravery-is-surviving-abuse-eric-35265976.html

I thinks its fair to say this guy was a monster who used his position as coach of the u12 team to prey on young boys.

When it comes to character references for someone like this what do people think is acceptable. Would it be right for a high up official in Eastern Harp and Sligo GAA to write a glowing reference for the court describing how he was a great community man and attributing the skills of current players to this monsters great coaching and mentor ship.
That's a difficult one alright. I think if I was the official in question, I would stop well short of issuing a glowing character reference  but I would give an honest opinion of what I had thought of the accused before the allegations were made known. To do otherwise would be to attempt to influence the judge's verdict.
I mean it would be up to the judge to consider all aspects of the case before the court and arrive at a verdict after considering all the evidence presented in court.
In my book, individuals should be presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty in a court of law. I'd be confident that even if I said I found the accused to be an enthusiastic and committed underage coach, the judge would figure out what his motives for spending so much time with young people really were.

How could you say something positive about this guy. Everything thought of him previously was a lie as he no doubt manipulated his way with people in his community and GAA club to abuse children. His life in my book is defined by this. Anyone who would write a character reference for him is a buffoon. Its not difficulty at all Lar, not one bit. Judge shouldn't even be listening to such nonsense in cases like this.

Nah, you don't get my meaning. If the allegations surfaced, before a trial was heard, the man must be presumed innocent even though you and I know he's as guilty as hell. The problem is that if you allow public opinion influence the verdict, there is always the probability that mistakes will be made. Lynch law is no law.
It's not one bit too fanciful to bring up the case of the Birmingham Six. Maggie Thatcher was all for hanging every one of the accused and, to a large degree, British public opinion was of the same mind. Only the certainty that there would be endless legal challenges and that it would drive Irish Nationalists into the arms of the IRA caused her to back down.  To say, "Oops, we got it wrong. Sorry 'bout that," would have been of feck all use to anyone.
I'm not talking about giving anyone a positive character reference to this guy in question but I wouldn't deliberately omit that could be relevant to the case. It wouldn't be my job to influence the judge, the facts alone should determine that.

armaghniac

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #263 on: November 11, 2017, 03:40:59 PM »
Nah, you don't get my meaning. If the allegations surfaced, before a trial was heard, the man must be presumed innocent even though you and I know he's as guilty as hell. The problem is that if you allow public opinion influence the verdict, there is always the probability that mistakes will be made. Lynch law is no law.
It's not one bit too fanciful to bring up the case of the Birmingham Six. Maggie Thatcher was all for hanging every one of the accused and, to a large degree, British public opinion was of the same mind. Only the certainty that there would be endless legal challenges and that it would drive Irish Nationalists into the arms of the IRA caused her to back down.  To say, "Oops, we got it wrong. Sorry 'bout that," would have been of feck all use to anyone.
I'm not talking about giving anyone a positive character reference to this guy in question but I wouldn't deliberately omit that could be relevant to the case. It wouldn't be my job to influence the judge, the facts alone should determine that.

You are fighting an uphill battle Lar, some people here want to be the judge and jury as well as a witness.
From my perspective, someone could say of this individual that he was perceived at the time to be good coach if this was true. The judge is perfectly competent to take that on its merits and recognise that some of the enthusiasm had a malign intent.
if at first you don't succeed, then goto Plan B

Lar Naparka

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #264 on: November 11, 2017, 04:17:32 PM »
Nah, you don't get my meaning. If the allegations surfaced, before a trial was heard, the man must be presumed innocent even though you and I know he's as guilty as hell. The problem is that if you allow public opinion influence the verdict, there is always the probability that mistakes will be made. Lynch law is no law.
It's not one bit too fanciful to bring up the case of the Birmingham Six. Maggie Thatcher was all for hanging every one of the accused and, to a large degree, British public opinion was of the same mind. Only the certainty that there would be endless legal challenges and that it would drive Irish Nationalists into the arms of the IRA caused her to back down.  To say, "Oops, we got it wrong. Sorry 'bout that," would have been of feck all use to anyone.
I'm not talking about giving anyone a positive character reference to this guy in question but I wouldn't deliberately omit that could be relevant to the case. It wouldn't be my job to influence the judge, the facts alone should determine that.

You are fighting an uphill battle Lar, some people here want to be the judge and jury as well as a witness.
From my perspective, someone could say of this individual that he was perceived at the time to be good coach if this was true. The judge is perfectly competent to take that on its merits and recognise that some of the enthusiasm had a malign intent.
Exactly! You got it in one.

criostlinn

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #265 on: November 11, 2017, 04:22:40 PM »
I'm not sure what exactly you are saying here Lar.

This case is fairly clear. This monster used his position as a GAA coach to prey on and abuse young boys. He was found guilty of this thanks to the evidence of five brave men. God only knows how many more victims didnt get the opportunity or just couldnt find it in themselves to come forward

Despite this when all facts were heard and the jury had made its decision a senior club official from the very same club where the boys were abused provides a character witness for the accused  in which he speaks in glowing terms about his mentoring and coaching skills. For christ sake, the monster hadn't coached in the club in 30 years and the last time he did these offences occurred. I think its wrong that this kind of shite can be handed into a court in any case let alone something like this. Its not sworn evidence so should have no relevance to a judges decision on sentencing. If its not been used to try and influence a judge what is the purpose of it.

I'm sure the victims were delighted to know they had such great support from the club and the GAA in general.

 

Owen Brannigan

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #266 on: November 16, 2017, 06:58:31 PM »
The UK government are in the process of extending the 'position of trust' legislation to sports coaches. This makes sexual relationships illegal between sports coaches and 16- and 17-year-olds in their care. The law currently covers teachers, hospital workers and carers, but not sports coaches.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/42018265

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #267 on: November 16, 2017, 09:37:25 PM »
The UK government are in the process of extending the 'position of trust' legislation to sports coaches. This makes sexual relationships illegal between sports coaches and 16- and 17-year-olds in their care. The law currently covers teachers, hospital workers and carers, but not sports coaches.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/42018265

New coaching legislation coming in from Croke this year I hear... while the child protection courses were a great initiative when they first came out they needed to be backed by a police check if you’re being totally honest
Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

Lar Naparka

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #268 on: November 16, 2017, 11:12:10 PM »
I'm not sure what exactly you are saying here Lar.

This case is fairly clear. This monster used his position as a GAA coach to prey on and abuse young boys. He was found guilty of this thanks to the evidence of five brave men. God only knows how many more victims didnt get the opportunity or just couldnt find it in themselves to come forward

Despite this when all facts were heard and the jury had made its decision a senior club official from the very same club where the boys were abused provides a character witness for the accused  in which he speaks in glowing terms about his mentoring and coaching skills. For christ sake, the monster hadn't coached in the club in 30 years and the last time he did these offences occurred. I think its wrong that this kind of shite can be handed into a court in any case let alone something like this. Its not sworn evidence so should have no relevance to a judges decision on sentencing. If its not been used to try and influence a judge what is the purpose of it.

I'm sure the victims were delighted to know they had such great support from the club and the GAA in general.
Sorry, Críost, just saw this now…
I’m afraid I support the right of Clarke to have mitigating factors taken into account before the judge. Just as the the victims of abuse in this and similar cases had to right to have victim impact statements read into court proceedings, the accused is entitled to have speak on his behalf before the judge had arrived at his verdict. This is a democracy and this is the law.
Just as you can’t half dig a hole or half kick someone up the same, you can’t half prevent someone found guilty in a criminal trial from having someone speaking up on his or her behalf.
I mean the law in all its shapes and forms must be objective at all times- you can’t pick and choose who should be allowed to introduce positive character references and who shouldn’t.
I presume we are talking about Ballymote here. I know the place well and, by and large, the people there are as upright and conscientious as you will find anywhere. But it is a small, tightly-knit community where everyone one knows everyone else. At the very least, everyone there has to come into contact with every other local from time to time.
The official who came up with a positive character reference for the accused knew full well that he would be meeting up with friends and relations of the five who came forward and, if they are still living in the area, he will have to come face to face with the victims of Clarke’s abuse on a regular basis.
For him, knowing the consequences of his actions, he had to strongly believe that what he said in court was true that but it would also upset others in the locality. I don’t know for certain but I believe that others would have looked for leniency also. They not have come forward to testify but I'm sure there are some.
Otherwise the official who spoke up for Clarke would hardly have done so if he felt he was the only one in Ballymote who’d say a word in Clarke’s favour.
In any event, the judge wasn’t swayed by the glowing reference for the accused; seven years for a 75-year old is effectively a life sentence.

macdanger2

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Re: Tom Humphries
« Reply #269 on: November 16, 2017, 11:32:37 PM »
I'm not sure what exactly you are saying here Lar.

This case is fairly clear. This monster used his position as a GAA coach to prey on and abuse young boys. He was found guilty of this thanks to the evidence of five brave men. God only knows how many more victims didnt get the opportunity or just couldnt find it in themselves to come forward

Despite this when all facts were heard and the jury had made its decision a senior club official from the very same club where the boys were abused provides a character witness for the accused  in which he speaks in glowing terms about his mentoring and coaching skills. For christ sake, the monster hadn't coached in the club in 30 years and the last time he did these offences occurred. I think its wrong that this kind of shite can be handed into a court in any case let alone something like this. Its not sworn evidence so should have no relevance to a judges decision on sentencing. If its not been used to try and influence a judge what is the purpose of it.

I'm sure the victims were delighted to know they had such great support from the club and the GAA in general.
Sorry, Críost, just saw this now…
I’m afraid I support the right of Clarke to have mitigating factors taken into account before the judge. Just as the the victims of abuse in this and similar cases had to right to have victim impact statements read into court proceedings, the accused is entitled to have speak on his behalf before the judge had arrived at his verdict. This is a democracy and this is the law.
Just as you can’t half dig a hole or half kick someone up the same, you can’t half prevent someone found guilty in a criminal trial from having someone speaking up on his or her behalf.
I mean the law in all its shapes and forms must be objective at all times- you can’t pick and choose who should be allowed to introduce positive character references and who shouldn’t.
I presume we are talking about Ballymote here. I know the place well and, by and large, the people there are as upright and conscientious as you will find anywhere. But it is a small, tightly-knit community where everyone one knows everyone else. At the very least, everyone there has to come into contact with every other local from time to time.
The official who came up with a positive character reference for the accused knew full well that he would be meeting up with friends and relations of the five who came forward and, if they are still living in the area, he will have to come face to face with the victims of Clarke’s abuse on a regular basis.
For him, knowing the consequences of his actions, he had to strongly believe that what he said in court was true that but it would also upset others in the locality. I don’t know for certain but I believe that others would have looked for leniency also. They not have come forward to testify but I'm sure there are some.
Otherwise the official who spoke up for Clarke would hardly have done so if he felt he was the only one in Ballymote who’d say a word in Clarke’s favour.
In any event, the judge wasn’t swayed by the glowing reference for the accused; seven years for a 75-year old is effectively a life sentence.

Not half long enough imo