Disgraced ex-DUP mayor Thomas Hogg has been convicted of trying to get a boy aged under 16 to engage in sexual activity.
The former Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough councillor had denied the offence but was found guilty following a contest hearing at Belfast Magistrates’ Court last week.
The case followed the politician’s arrest at a dance music festival in Newtownabbey organised by the council of which he was a leading member.
Hogg was charged with inciting a 14-year-old boy to engage in sexual activity on September 28, 2019.
The 32-year-old had also been accused of a further charge of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and of sexual communication with a child.
But these were withdrawn during a hearing of the case in December 2019, in one of the many adjournments before the matter was dealt with last week.
Hogg, of Brae Hill Park in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast, is due before the same court on March 12 when he will be sentenced.
Hogg quit the DUP and resigned his seat on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council not long after Sunday Life revealed he had been charged with child sex offences.
He was arrested at the V36 music festival in Newtownabbey with witnesses saying threats were shouted at him as he was lead away by cops.
The once rising star in the DUP later fled his north Belfast home after a death threat was delivered by the South East Antrim UDA.
He is no stranger to the magistrates’ courts having previously been convicted of drink-driving in May 2018.
Hogg was handed a 12-month driving ban and a fine after admitting drink-driving in Belfast.
The conviction saw him suspended as a councillor for five months, and also suspended by the DUP for eight months over the matter.
Hogg grew up in Fermanagh before moving to Belfast to study at Queen’s University.
It was during that period that he took on a more prominent role in the DUP and was brought under the wing of North Belfast DUP MP and fellow Fermanagh man, Nigel Dodds.
Having as served Newtownabbey mayor on two occasions, including as the first mayor of the amalgamated super council, Hogg was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2016 for services to local government.
After receiving the gong, he said: “This is not something I ever contemplated or imagined.”
Between his terms as mayor, Hogg spent four months on tour in Afghanistan with the Royal Irish Reserves (RIR) and has previously indicated he may be affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result.
Until his arrest he also worked closely with the DUP’s North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley.