A North Sea Camp prisoner who absconded while on day release is believed to have committed a sexual offence while on the run.
Ivan Leach, who went missing from the prison on October 9, is wanted in connection with a serious sexual attack in Tayside, Scotland, at some point since he absconded. Further details of the incident cannot be revealed for legal reasons, police have said.
Forces are also investigating claims that a man matching the his description approached two schoolgirls in the Preston area, where the prisoner – who is also known as Lee Cyrus – is believed to have gone.
The man is reported to have approached the girls as they sat at a bus stop on Lancaster Road in the city at about 6.30pm on October 17. A spokesman for the force said he made sexual remarks towards the girls and encouraged them to engage in sexual activity with him.
Leach was last seen in Lea, Preston, on October 19. There have been no confirmed sightings of him since then, but he is also thought to have travelled to the Tayside area. Police in Lancashire have released CCTV footage showing him in the city centre on October 17. He is originally from the area.
A nationwide appeal is underway to track him down, and members of the public are being urged not to approach the 47-year-old as he is believed he poses a significant risk to others.
Leach was jailed in 2005 for robbing a 90-year-old woman in Ribbleton, Lancashire. He was given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of five years. He also has convictions for burglary and robbery and assault.