A dangerous “predator” who is on the run after escaping from jail has been spotted in Preston again.
Ivan Leach, 47, who also goes by the name Lee Cyrus, was seen in the Lea area of the city on Friday, October 19 and police believe he will return to the city.
He was seen wearing a black waterproof-type jacket and carry a large rucksack which is believed to be full.
Since absconding from prison in Lincolnshire earlier this month, police believe he has committed a “very serious” sexual assault in Scotland.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Dawson, of Preston Police, said the investigation was now spread across four forces and appeals were going out nationwide.
He said: “My belief is because of his history with Preston, both in terms of his family connections here and his history of offending, he will gravitate back to the Preston area.
“He has been here extensively, although not exclusively, since he absconded from jail and we are confident he will return.”
The officer added there was “a serious concern” he could commit further offences if he is not caught soon.
It is believed Leach, who changed his name by deed poll to Cyrus in 2007, is using public transport to get around the country.
He is also believed to have been in Nottingham city centre within the last week.
A man believed to be Leach approached a pair of schoolgirls at a bus stop on Lancaster Road in Preston city centre at around 6.30pm on Wednesday, October 17.
He approached them and made “sexual remarks” towards them.
Det Chief Insp Dawson added: “There is always the possibility someone in the Preston area is hiding him and helping keep away from the authorities.
“The fact he has been connected with a serious sexual assault in Scotland shows the kind of person he is.
“I would tell anyone that it is in the interests of everyone he is caught as soon as possible.”
Mounted police were out in Preston on Saturday as part of the increased operation.
Anyone with any information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.