Escaped prisoner may have raped second woman, detectives fear
DETECTIVES hunting a rapist in Aberdeen are refusing to rule out a possible link with a “dangerous and predatory” sex attack in Perth earlier this month.
Lee Cyrus, 47, who is serving a life sentence for robbery, has been on the run since he failed to return from day release to the North Sea Camp open prison in Boston, Lincolnshire, on 9 October.
He is being sought by Tayside Police in connection with a brutal sexual assault in which a 23-year-old woman was raped in her home in Perth on 15 October, the day after a 68-year-old woman was attacked and robbed in her home in the Potterhill area of the city.
On Saturday morning, a 22-year-old woman was raped after being attacked as she was walking alone near shops in the Powis area of Aberdeen, sparking a massive manhunt involving more than 100 police officers.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Dunn, who is heading the Aberdeen rape investigation, said yesterday the force was keeping an “open mind” on the identity of the sex attacker as speculation grew that Cyrus may have fled to the North-east.
He said: “Our inquiries are at an early stage and we are keeping an open mind. At this time the investigation is not focused on any specific individual and the public should be assured that we will investigate every possible line of inquiry.”
Cyrus, who also known as Ivan Leach, is described as 5ft 11in, of stocky build with cropped hair and hazel eyes. He has a distinctive scar on his top lip and two distinctive tattoos.
Police believe that he has been sleeping rough as he travels around the country and may have grown a beard.
The man being sought in connection with the rape in Aberdeen is described by police as being around 30 years old, approximately 6ft tall, of medium build, with an unkempt appearance, as if he had been sleeping rough.
Meanwhile, Lancashire Constabulary yesterday warned that Cyrus posed a “significant risk” to the public as the force revealed that a man matching his description made sexual advances to two 15-year-old schoolgirls after approaching them as they sat at a bus stop in Preston city centre on 17 October – eight days after he went on the run.
A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “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.
“The last confirmed sighting of Leach is on the evening of Friday, 19 October in Lea, Preston, but despite a nationwide appeal he remains at large.”
The charity Crimestoppers has posted a £3,000 reward for information leading to Cyrus’ arrest and conviction.
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