March 2021

Ex-DUP mayor sentenced for sex offence against boy

A former Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor who was convicted of sexual offences involving a child has been given a suspended sentence.

Thomas Hogg, from Brae Hill Park in Belfast, was sentenced on Friday at Belfast Magistrates’ Court for an offence against a 15-year-old boy.

The 32-year-old is a former mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council.

Hogg resigned from the DUP following his arrest and the court was told his political career is now behind him.

Earlier in March he was found guilty of attempting to engage a child in sexual behaviour.

In September 2019, Hogg offered to perform a sexual act on a 15-year-old boy and asked the boy to perform a similar act.

Hogg had claimed he was tipsy but the judge said alcohol was no excuse for what had happened.

The judge said Hogg’s proposal came as a shock to the boy, who vehemently rejected it and reported the matter to the police.

The court heard the incident had a serious effect on the victim.

However, the judge said the teenager should understand that he is an innocent young man, who can hold his head up with pride and should not be ashamed.

The court heard Hogg has left Belfast and is now living and working in London.

The judge said he was not sending Hogg directly to jail but instead he handed down a three-month sentence, suspended for two years.

He also ordered Hogg to pay £1,000 compensation to the victim and ruled he must notify police of his whereabouts for seven years.