Belfast Telegraph

Pervert captured by Northern Ireland vigilantes walks free from court

exclusive on-the-run pervs sparked manhunt

By Sarah Henderson

A Northern Ireland paedophile who absconded and was then controversially captured by vigilantes has walked free after being jailed for two months.

Jason Lydiard and child rapist James White were beaten, tied to a bench and plastered in paint after being caught in the South Armagh village of Mullaghbawn in April.

An alert had been raised after the so-called paedo tag-team had been spotted driving around the area.

Lydiard - aka Alexis Gusto (25) - was brought before Newry Crown Court on Thursday for illegally leaving the jurisdiction on February 15 with his whereabouts unknown.

His address was given as Thompson House on Belfast's Antrim Road.

The convicted paedophile admitted breaching conditions of two Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO) by failing to inform the authorities of his whereabouts and attending probation meetings.

Lydiard absconded from the jurisdiction and was found to be in the company of child sex beast James White (48, right) from Crossmaglen, amid allegations that the duo where driving around the South in an attempt to lure children.

The pair had reportedly been together for weeks before being arrested in Mullaghbawn after being attacked by vigilantes in front of a crowd of 100 people. A vehicle they were thought to have been travelling in was abandoned in south Armagh.

Local priest Father John Heagney tried to step in as the two on-the-run sex offenders were being beaten by a gang armed with iron bars.

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Jason Lydiard

A witness said: "The crowd kicked them in the head. They beat them with sticks. They jeered.

"I thought one of them was dead. We went for the priest and he immediately came down and tried to plead with them. I know they had to be taken out of the community - but not like that."

Lydiard had previously been convicted of grooming a child for sex in March 2017 and another conviction in June 2016 for sexual assault.

On social media he has claimed to be a born-again Christian and has ranted against homosexuality.

In court a defence lawyer said that the two-year probation order for the earlier conviction had almost elapsed at the time of his client's breach.

Prosecution outlined Lydiard's previous convictions of involving three young children who were discovered to have been abused by the defendant who would force their trousers down and touch their bottoms. One young male injured party said Lydiard would "do sex things" on him.

In an earlier case, it was found that Lydiard had groomed a 15-year-old boy by taking him for drives to a forest park where he would kiss and touch the boy.

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James White

The court was told that Lydiard was aware of the boy's age at the time.

Defence asked for credit in sentencing due to Lydiard having already completed 100 hours of community service and up to nine months of a probation order on the combination order for the first conviction.

His Honour Judge Kerr conditionally discharged Lydiard on the first breach due to his completion of the combination order.

On the second breach Lydiard was given a two-month custodial sentence.

Belfast Telegraph

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