Monday, 29 October 2012
Reward offered as manhunt for dangerous and predatory offender continues
The charity is offering up to £3,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Leach, who is on the run from an open prison.
Leach, 47, who is also known as Lee Cyrus, is described as a dangerous and predatory and is believed to have committed a serious sex offence while on the run.
Leach went missing from North Sea Camp open prison, Boston, Lincolnshire on Tuesday 9th October after going on day release.
Officers 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 9th October, although further details cannot be released for legal reasons.
The last confirmed sighting of Leach is on the evening of Friday 19th October 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.
It is known he has been in the city on a number of occasions since he absconded, but he could be anywhere in the country.
Enquiries are also ongoing in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Tayside.
Lancashire 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 17th October. 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. Fortunately 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 Supt Paul Withers, of Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation Team, said: “While we have been encouraged by the information provided by the public about Leach so far he remains at large and continues to pose a serious threat to members of the public.
“Hopefully this reward will encourage more people to come forward and help us track down and catch him. We will follow up every potential sighting of him so I’d urge people to call police or Crimestoppers if you think you see him or know of his current whereabouts.
“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.”
Leach has a number of friends, family and associates in Preston and prior to his sentence lived and offended in the Preston area so it is likely that he will gravitate back to the city.
Lancashire is liaising with a number of other forces and have a significant number of resources dedicated to tracking him down.
Leach 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. 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 police believe he may have stubble or may now have grown a beard and look unkempt.
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.
He was last seen wearing a black waterproof jacket, dark trousers and carrying a full rucksack.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling the new non emergency number, 101. Alternatively, people with information can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.
No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
The reward only qualifies if the information is passed through the Crimestoppers number.
Posted by John Freeman at 18:35