Two men 'beaten and covered in paint' by group in Northern Ireland

The pair are wanted for a range of offences

Two men 'beaten and covered in paint' by group in Northern Ireland

Picture by: Paul Faith/PA Archive/PA Images

Two men have been attacked in Northern Ireland by what appears to be a vigilante group.

The PSNI say the two men, James White and Alexis Guesto, were found injured in south Armagh on Saturday and taken to hospital.

The two men were wanted by police for a range of offenses, including breach of licence and warrants.

They were discovered by a group of men as they attempted to evade an ongoing police search for them.

Police say they were alerted to reports of an assault in the Maullaghbawn area.

The pair 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.

Detective chief inspector Jill Duffie said: "I understand that feelings have been running high over the search of these men, however, there can never be an excuse for violence or people taking the law into their own hands.

"We will be investigating the assaults and working to identify anyone involved."

Detective  Duffie said police were "pleased" with the response from the local community during the search for the men, but added: "Unfortunately, now, due to the violent actions of a small number of people, we have had to redirect resources and efforts towards investigating a serious assault."

The PSNI say both men will be brought before court at the earliest opportunity.

It is believed the pair may have crossed the border from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland.