Nationwide appeal as hunt for Ivan Leach is stepped up by police
Detectives hunting a convinted sex offender who has escaped from prison have launched a nationwide manhunt for him.
Preston Police have stepped up their search for Ivan Leach, who is also known as Lee Cyrus, and posters will be put up in shops, community centres, hospitals and major train and bus stations in a bid to catch him.
Leach, 47, went missing from the North Sea Camp open prison in Boston, Lincolnshire, on Tuesday 9 October after going on day release.
He has been seen in Preston, Tayside in Scotland and Nottingham and officers believe he may have carried out a very serious sexual attack on two teenage schoolgirls in Scotland since absconding.
Crimestoppers are offering a £3,000 reward for information leading to his conviction.
Leach is well known in Preston. He was born in the city and has connections in South Ribble.
Detective Superintendent Paul Withers from the Force Major Investigation Team said: “Whilst Leach remains at large he continues to pose 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, most likely on public transport – alternatively, he may be being housed by someone he knows.
“I would like to warn anyone who may be harbouring him that if they know where he is, and they fail to notify police, action will be taken against them.
“We are liaising with a number of other forces across England and Scotland and have a huge number of resources dedicated to tracking 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 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 will continue to have officers out looking for him and we are doing everything we can to find him.
“At the same time I would appeal directly to Leach, wherever he is, to hand himself in. Police forces across the UK are alert to the fact that has absconded and given the publicity of the past week, his face is now well known within communities across England and Scotland. He should do the right thing and give himself up.”
Leach is described as white; around five feet 11 inches tall, of stocky build with cropped hair and hazel eyes. His has a distinctive scar on his top lip under his nose and two distinctive tattoos, one with the name ‘Annette’ on the bicep of his left arm and a figure of a barbarian woman on the back of his right shoulder blade.
Anyone with any information in England is asked to contact police by calling 101 if in Scotland, people are asked to call 999 (the 101 service is not yet available in Scotland)
Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
Leach on the run: A timeline of his movements
9th October – Leach escapes from North Sea Camp open prison in Boston and has travelled back to Preston where he is believed to have stayed for a number of days.
13th – 16th October – Leach is believed to have travelled up to the Tayside area in Scotland.
17th October – Leach is believed to have been captured on CCTV in Preston city centre after approaching two schoolgirls and enticing them into sexual activity.
19th October –Leach was seen in Lea in Preston
20th October – Latest sighting in Nottingham City Centre.
View the Wanted poster released by police, please download and put up if you have a shop window/prominent position to display it in