December 2017

Judge refuses bail to paedophile with ‘7 out of 10’ interest in children because of risk he’ll target Santa’s grottos

A paedophile who told police his sexual interest in children was a “seven” on a scale of one to 10 has been refused bail over fears he would visit Santa’s grottos.

Convicted sex offender Philip Hull repeatedly “panicked” and gave his mobile phones to charity after using them to view indecent images of children, Belfast’s High Court heard.

Hull is charged with breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order by deleting his browsing history.

He was refused bail amid heightening concerns he has visited city centre locations where Santa’s grottos are operating

The 40-year-old also told police on a scale of one to 10, his current sexual interest in children is seven.

In 2016, Hull used a fake identity to contact young females online.

In July 2013, Hull was convicted of 25 counts of having indecent photographs of children.

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire said Hull told police he had accessed a indecent images website on his phone before restoring it to factory settings between December 9 abd 11.

During questioning Hull said he had used a search engine to view indecent images of children, the court heard.

Asked by officers why he then used a factory reset, he replied: “Because I didn’t want to get caught again, I didn’t want to go through the system again.”

With phone examinations continuing, bail was opposed amid fears of an escalation in Hull’s behaviour.

Mr Maguire said: “The applicant has admitted to police that he has visited Castle Court and the Christmas Market in Belfast, both of which have Santa’s grottos in them.

“That, combined with an admitted sexual interest in pre-teen children where he said the interest was seven out of 10, gives rise to considerable police concerns.”

Denying bail, Sir Richard McLaughlin said it would be “totally irresponsible” to release Hull from custody.

The judge added: “Nobody in their right mind is going to give him bail. It just doesn’t even get to first base.”

October 2016

Exposed: Fake Facebook identity of Belfast paedophile

A convicted paedophile has been using a new fake identity to contact young females online.

Philip Hull was convicted in 2013 of possessing sickening indecent images of children and sentenced to one year in prison.

In July it emerged that the 39-year-old, from the Shore Road in north Belfast, had enjoyed a publicly-funded trip to Barry’s amusements in Portrush.

Hull is currently out of prison on probation and was last reported to be staying at the Centenary House hostel in Belfast.

He is banned from having any unapproved interaction with children.

However, a member of the public was stunned to see him using a Facebook profile in another name to make contact with young women.

He told the Belfast Telegraph he was “disgusted” when he noticed comments from Hull’s new alias appearing on the pages of girls he knew.

The Facebook page was created in August 2014 – a year after he was convicted – with a profile picture which appears to show Hull posing in front of the Dark Hedges landmark in Co Antrim.

Using an assumed name he lists his home town as Londonderry.

But what Hull doesn’t detail on his Facebook page is his criminal past – or the fact that his seedy actions landed him in jail.

His friends list is made up exclusively of young females

It is unclear if any of the young individuals Hull has befriended online are under age.

Yesterday the Belfast Telegraph contacted the PSNI to make officers aware of Hull’s online activities.

However, last night police had yet to make a comment.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell, who had been critical about Hull’s all-expenses paid trip to Portrush, was shocked by the latest revelations.

Speaking yesterday, he called for a review into his monitoring arrangements.

“It will be a cause of concern after the Portrush visit, which I presume would have instigated a Probation Board review to make sure that didn’t happen again,” Mr Campbell said.

“So it will be all the more disconcerting that his Facebook activity has been continuing – before and after the Portrush visit – so there does need to be an overall review of how this man is monitored by the probation services.”

Speaking in July, a Probation Service spokeswoman said a review was being carried out.

She said: “In relation to the circumstances highlighted, probation staff are reviewing the details with staff at Centenary House.

“The Probation Service uses approved accommodation such as Centenary House to assist us in the supervision of offenders who have served their prison sentence and been released into the community. The use of approved accommodation provides additional safeguards rather than having someone simply return to their own accommodation.”

She continued: “Approved accommodation such as Centenary House is highly valued by all those working in public protection.”

Mr Hull is currently on probation till 2017.

It’s understood he had gained a job at a training scheme at a Newtownabbey recycling firm but more recently was thought to be unemployed.

In July, an undercover Sunday Life team watched as Hull fooled around on the dodgems at Barry’s Amusements after being driven from his Belfast bail hostel in a mini-bus along with other offenders.

He laughed as he bumped into unsuspecting kids and queued behind them as he awaited his turn on the fairground attractions. The firm had no idea that Hull was on its premises.

July 2016

Northern Ireland paedophile Philip Hull’s shocking trip to Portrush amusement arcade


A convicted paedophile was allowed to mix with children at Northern Ireland’s best known amusement arcade.

In a story that will strike fear into the hearts of every parent this weekend’s Sunday Life reveals how pervert Philip Hull’s trip to Barry’s in Portrush was publicly funded – and officially approved.

An undercover Sunday Life team took this video and photographic evidence as the notorious sex fiend, who was jailed after being caught with a sickening stash of child abuse images, fooled around on the dodgems with unsuspecting kids.

Update: Hull has now been jailed

July 2013

Belfast man facing trial over child sexual abuse images


A Belfast man is to stand trial accused of a catalogue of child abuse images offences, a judge has ruled.

Philip Hull is charged with 25 counts of having indecent photographs of children.

The 36-year-old, of Waveney Drive, faces a further charge of encouraging someone else to distribute indecent photos.

All of the alleged offences were committed between January and October 2011. Hull appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court to decide if the case should proceed.

A prosecution lawyer contended there was a prima facie case to answer and sought to have him returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court.

Deputy District Judge Joe Rice granted the application and released Hull on continuing bail until that hearing gets under way.