Police are hunting for a man described as a dangerous and predatory who is believed to have committed a serious sex offence while on the run.
Ivan Leach, also known as Lee Cyrus, 47, went missing from North Sea Camp open prison, Boston, Lincolnshire on Tuesday 9th October after going on day release.
Officers have warned Leach should not under any circumstances be approached as he poses a significant risk. He is believed to have carried out a very serious sexual attack in Tayside, Scotland, since he absconded on October 9th, although further details cannot be released for legal reasons.
Despite a large scale police search and numerous reported sightings he remains at large.
Police are urging the public to be vigilant and to come forward with information about his possible whereabouts.
He has links to Preston, and has known to be in the city on a number of occasions since he absconded, but he could be anywhere in the country. Enquiries are also ongoing in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Tayside.
Lancashire Police are investigating reports that two schoolgirls were approached as they sat at a bus stop around 6.30pm on Lancaster Road in Preston city centre on Wednesday 17th October. The girls were approached by a man matching Leach’s description who made sexual remarks towards them and encouraged them to participate in sexual activities with him. Fortunately the girls boarded their bus and reported the incident to the police.
Leach was jailed in 2005 for robbing a 90 year old woman in Ribbleton. He was given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of five years. He also has convictions for burglary and robbery and assault.
Ivan was born in Preston and has connections across the city as well as in South Ribble.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Dawson, of Preston Police said: “Leach is an extremely dangerous and predatory individual who poses a serious threat to members of the public. He has previous convictions for burglary, sex offences against a young girl, assault and robberies in which he has targeted elderly people in their own homes.
“We believe he could be sleeping rough and travelling extensively throughout the country. He has a number of links to Preston and prior to his sentence lived and offended in the Preston area. We are liaising with a number of other forces in a bid to track him down and apprehend him but we need the public’s help.
“I’d reassure people that we follow up every potential sighting of him so I’d urge people to call police on 101 if you think you see him or know of his current whereabouts. I would remind people that he is violent and should not be approached. We have extra patrols in the city and continue to have officers out looking for him round the clock and we are doing everything we can to find him.
“The best possible outcome for himself, his family and all concerned is that he gives himself up.”
“We believe he may have stubble or may now have grown a beard. He could also be carrying a rucksack.
Cyrus is described as white, around five feet 11 inches tall, of stocky build with cropped hair and hazel eyes.
Information can be passed to local police either in person or on 101 or information can be passed anonymously via Crimestoppers