Violent ‘monster’ serving life sentence is on the run

Ivan Leach
Ivan Leach
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An “extremely violent” offender who has strong links to South Ribble is on the run.

Ivan Leach, also known as Lee Cyrus, has previous convictions for having sex with a 13-year-old schoolgirl, slashing a woman’s throat with a screwdriver and robbing a 90-year-old widow.

Police revealed last night (Thursday) that the 47-year-old absconded from an open prison in Lincolnshire on Tuesday and is now thought to be in the Preston area.

Officers are appealing for information about Leach, who went missing from North Sea Camp, Boston, after day release.

He is currently serving a life sentence for robbery and previously lived in Lancashire, mainly in the Preston area.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “Leach is extremely violent and must not be approached.

“We believe he is in the Preston area.

“Specifically he has strong links to South Ribble, including Penwortham and Lostock Hall.

“We are doing all we can to find him. We would ask the public to be vigilant and not to approach him but to report any sightings to the police.

“Any details the public may have could be crucial.”

Leach is white, around 5ft 11ins, stocky, with cropped hair and hazel eyes. Information can be passed to police by calling 101, or anonymously, via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Leach has convictions for offences against elderly women stretching back to 1982.

In 1999 he pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old schoolgirl, who claimed he had spiked her drink and threatened to kill her if she told anyone, at a relative’s home.

He was jailed for 14 months and ordered to register under the Sexual Offenders Act for 10 years by Judge Peter Smith, who said Leach was “satisfying his lust”.

On his release in 2001, after serving 20 months in prison, he was banned from being alone with children under the age of 16.

The NSPCC said he had “a high risk of reoffending sexually against children and a very high risk of violent reoffending against children and adults.”

In 2002 Leach was jailed for six years for slashing a young Penwortham couple with a screwdriver, leaving them with permanent scars, after he pounced on them as they walked home late at night.

He admitted a string of offences including wounding, assault and burglary, and police labelled him a “monster” for preying on the homes of vulnerable lone females and the elderly.

In 2005 he admitted forcing his way into the Preston home of a terrified 90-year-old woman to steal just £12. He threatened the arthritic pensioner and shoved her into a chair.

He received a life sentence after Preston Crown Court heard he had convictions for burglary, attempted robbery and robbery spanning a decade.