Police hunting Lee Cyrus probe 'sightings' after Crimewatch appeal

Lee Cyrus, aka Ivan Leach, runaway sex offender believed to have attacked two women in Perth.
Lee Cyrus: The absconder has been on the run since failing to return to prison on October 9.Lancashire Police

Police hunting absconder Lee Cyrus, who has been linked to attacks on women in Perth, have received around 20 calls following an appeal on Crimewatch.

The 47-year-old, also known as Ivan Leach, has been on the run since failing to return to North Sea Camp open prison, Boston, Lincolnshire on October 9 after going on day release.

On October 14 a 68-year-old woman was attacked and robbed and the following day a 23-year-old woman was woken from her sleep by an intruder and raped.

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said on Friday: "In total we received around 20 calls following the Crimewatch appeal on Wednesday night. These consisted of reported sightings and other information and we will be following up each call.

"We can’t go into any detail about the exact information that has been passed on but we can reveal a number of the sightings point to one particular area.

"We would urge people to remain alert, in Scotland and in England, as he in known to be transient."

The BBC programme featured a new CCTV image of Cyrus on a train between Preston and Nottingham.

The image shows Cyrus on the train on October 20. Police then believe he caught a bus from Nottingham on October 20 to the Hampstead area of London

The last confirmed sighting of Cyrus came from CCTV footage which shows him at a Barclay's Bank cash machine in Nottingham city centre at 11.13am on Saturday, October 20.

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

Cyrus was born in Preston and has connections across the city, but he could be anywhere in the country. Inquiries are also on going in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and London. He is known to have been in Tayside sometime between October 13 and 16.

He is serving a life sentence for robbery and in the past has committed a series of violent offences in his native Lancashire, including forcing his way into the home of a 90-year-old woman. He has also been convicted of having sex with an underage girl.

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

Cyrus is described as 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.

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

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