A former DUP mayor facing child sex offences has had two of the charges against him dropped.
During a brief hearing at Belfast Magistrates' Court last Monday a lawyer confirmed Thomas Hogg is no longer being prosecuted for sexual communication with a child, and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
However, the 31-year-old is still facing a single charge of inciting a child who he knew to be aged between 13 and 16 to engage in sexual activity. Hogg, who strongly denies any wrongdoing, will be back before the court on December 20 for an update on his case.
The ex-Newtownabbey mayor went to ground after being arrested and charged by police in October.
He immediately resigned from the DUP and quit his seat on Antrim and Newtownabbey council. The politician also left his home in Brae Hill Park in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast after reported threats from loyalist paramilitaries.
Sunday Life understands he has been living between a property on Inishmore island, Co Fermanagh, and London where he has been working for a wealth and assets management company.
Hogg grew up in Fermanagh before moving to Belfast while studying 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 MP Nigel Dodds, who is also from Fermanagh.
As well as serving as Newtownabbey mayor on two occasions, Hogg was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2016.
After receiving the gong, he said: "This is not something I ever contemplated or imagined."
Between his stints as mayor, Hogg spent four months on tour in Afghanistan with the Royal Irish Reserves (RIR).
Until his arrest he also worked closely with the DUP's North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley.