Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Convicted paedophile freed after breaching bail conditions

A convicted paedophile who was caught by vigilantes in Mullaghbawn after being on the run, has avoided jail for breaching his bail conditions.

Twenty six year old Jason Lydiard, who is also known as Alexis Gusto, and is originally from Bessbrook, went on the run with fellow convicted paedophile, James White, in April.  A nationwide hunt was launched for the men after police alerted the public that they had broken strict bail conditions following their release from custody earlier this year.  Lydiard has nine previous convictions for sexual assault and threats to kill.  

After several sightings of the pair throughout Ireland over the course of two weeks, the men were eventually tracked down to south Armagh, where they were apprehended by locals before being tied to a bench and covered in paint. 

Appearing in Newry Crown Court on Thursday 28th June on charges related to his absconding the jurisdiction on February 15, without prior permission of the PSNI, 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 handed a conditional discharge on the first breach, and was given a two-month custodial sentence for the second breach.  

Lydiard walked free from court and was later spotted boarding a bus to Belfast.  His release sparked public outcry on social media, with concerned members of the public branding the justice system “a joke”  and calling for tougher sentencing for convicted paedophiles who commit serious breaches of bail conditions.