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Convicted paedophile beaten and covered in paint walks free from court

A convicted paedophile who went on the run before being caught by vigilantes in south Armagh has walked free from court.

Jason Lydiard, 25, originally from Bessbrook, was one of two men beaten, tied to a bench, and covered in paint in April of this year.

James White – a convicted child rapist – and Lydiard had evaded the police radar, despite strict conditions following their subsequent release from prison.

When White and Lydiard were found by locals in Mullaghbawn, they were kicked and beaten with iron bars, according to investigating officers at the time.

Read more: Paedophile pals were ‘kicked and beaten with iron bars’ before being covered in paint

The two men had been hiding out in the nearby Glendesha Forest and even had a priest attempt to intervene in the matter.

Lydiard, who had nine previous convictions for sexual assault and threats to kill, was released from custody earlier this year.

However, he appeared before Newry Crown Court on Thursday on charges related to the fact he left the jurisdiction on February 15, following his release without prior permission of the PSNI – and his whereabouts also unknown.

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

He was given a conditional discharge on the first breach, and was handed a two-month custodial sentence for the second breach, but walked free having spent some time in custody.

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