Former DUP mayor Thomas Hogg convicted on child sexual offence charge

A former Democratic Unionist Party mayor has been convicted of trying to incite a schoolboy to take part in sexual activity.

Former DUP councillor Thomas Hogg
Former DUP councillor Thomas Hogg

Thomas Hogg, 32, denied the charge during a trial hearing at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.

But a judge found him guilty and put the case back for sentencing next week.

Hogg, with an address at Brae Hill Park in Belfast, was accused of intentionally inciting a child aged between 13 and 16 to engage in sexual activity on a date in September 2019.

He was reportedly arrested at a music festival in Valley Park, Newtownabbey.

The former Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council resigned from the DUP and stood down as a councillor after criminal proceedings were brought against him.

Hogg is now understood to live at another undisclosed location in the United Kingdom.

He returned to Belfast to appear in court and contest the allegations against him.

Questioned by defence barrister Mark Farrell, he strongly denied sending any messages to the complainant.

Under cross-examination he insisted that he had no memory of carrying out any such actions.

Based on the evidence, however, District Judge Ted Magill convicted him of the single charge and ordered pre-sentence reports.

The case has been listed for sentencing on March 12.

It is unclear at this stage if Hogg plans to mount an appeal.