Police trying to find “dangerous and predatory” offender appeal for help in West Yorkshire

Ivan Leach
Ivan Leach

People in West Yorkshire are being asked to look out for a man described as a dangerous and predatory and 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, October 9 after going on day release.

Lancashire Police 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 9.

The last confirmed sighting of Leach is on the evening of Friday, October 19 in Lea, Preston but despite a nationwide appeal he remains at large.

Police are urging the public to be vigilant and to come forward with information about his possible whereabouts.

Leach was born in Preston and has connections across the city as well as in South Ribble.

He is known to be in the city on a number of occasions since he absconded, but police say he could be anywhere in the country.

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, October 17.

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.

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 her home in Ribbleton, Preston. He was given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of five years.

He also has convictions for burglary and robbery and assault.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Dawson, of Preston Police 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.

“His appearance is likely to have changed over the past few weeks as a reflection of his current lifestyle and we believe he may have stubble or may now have grown a beard and look unkempt.

Leach is described as whitem around 5ft 11ins tall, of stocky build with cropped hair and hazel eyes. He 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.

He was last seen wearing a black waterproof jacket, dark trousers and carrying a full rucksack.

Detective Chief Inspector Dawson said: “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.

“So far we have been very encouraged by the information provided by members of the public and have received sightings of him from around the country and a result are following up a number of new lines of inquiry.

“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.”

Information can be passed to police on 101 or information can be passed anonymously via Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.