30/04/2018

Appeal Issued After Two Men Seriously Assaulted In Armagh

The PSNI have issued an appeal for information following the serious assault of two men in the Mullaghbawn area of south Armagh on Saturday 28 April.

It is understood the men, James White and Alexis Guesto, were attacked by a group a so-called vigilantes, who accused the men of being paedophiles.

On Sunday police re-visited a number of scenes believed to be connected to the incident to conduct further enquires.

Detective Chief Inspector Jill Duffie said: "We believe the two men, James White and Alexis Guesto, who were wanted by police for a range of offences, including breach of licence and warrants, were discovered by a group of males on Saturday evening as they attempted to evade an ongoing police search for them.

"White and Guesto were kicked and beaten with iron bars before being taken to Mullaghbawn village, where they were further assaulted by a number of individuals and covered in paint.
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"Both men were taken to hospital by police, one of the males has been arrested and the other remains in hospital being treated for his injuries. Both men will be brought before the court at the earliest opportunity in relation to the matters for which they were being sought.

"Throughout yesterday as our search for the two men was ongoing, I was pleased with the response from the local community and the assistance being provided to police."

DCI Duffie did however express her disappointment in the "violent actions of a small number of people", which she said had forced police to "redirect resources and efforts towards investigating a serious assault".

She concluded: "There is no excuse for individuals taking the law into their own hands nor for the violent scenes that we witnessed last night."

"I am appealing to anyone with information about the incident or anyone with recorded footage which could assist us with our investigation to contact detectives in Ardmore station on 101 quoting reference number 1240 28/04/18. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."

(MH)

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