Tayside Police look to BBC’s Crimewatch to track down fugitive prisoner

Ivan Leach, also known as Lee Cyrus. Picture: PA
Ivan Leach, also known as Lee Cyrus. Picture: PA
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POLICE hunting for a dangerous and predatory fugitive prisoner being sought in connection with a brutal rape in Perth have turned to BBC1’s Crimewatch programme in a bid to track him down

Lee Cyrus, 47 who was serving a life sentence for a brutal robbery, has been on the run since he absconded from day release at on open prison in Lincolnshire six weeks ago.

The notorious inmate, also known as Ivan Leach, is being hunted by Tayside Police in connection with the brutal sexual assault on a 23 year-old women who was raped in her home in Perth on 15 October, the day after a 68-year-old woman was attacked and robbed at her home in the Potterhill area of the city.

The search for the fugitive prisoner is being coordinated by Lancashire Constabulary. And the force has issued a new CCTV image of Cyrus travelling on a train between Preston and Nottingham.on 20 October to coincide with an appeal on the wanted board of BBC1’s Crimewatch programme on Wednesday night.

Detective Superintendent Andy Murphy from Lancashire Constabulary’s Force Major Investigation Team said: “At about 8.30pm on Sunday 18 November a member of the public reported a possible sighting of Ivan Leach in the area of St Marys Street close to HMP Preston in the Deepdale area of Preston.

“At this time Leach is believed to have approached a street worker and engaged her in conversation before walking off along St Marys Street in the direction of New Hall Lane.”

He continued: “Leach is described as having dark stubble on his face wearing a black hooded fleece type top and light grey jogging bottoms that were elasticised at the ankle. He also wore black training shoes.

“I want to 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.”

Det Supt Murphy added: “We are continuing to liaise with a number of other forces across England and Scotland and have a huge number of resources dedicated to tracking him down but we also need the public’s help.

“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 with an impending appearance on Crimewatch his face will be now well known within communities across England and Scotland. He should do the right thing and give himself up.’’

Posters have been distributed across England and Scotland appearing on buses, in shops, community centres, hospitals, and in bus and train stations.

Officers have warned Leach should not, under any circumstances, be approached as he poses a significant risk.

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.Since he absconded he may also have grown a beard and moustache and may change his appearance to evade capture.