A violent offender from Preston who has been on the run from prison for two weeks is being hunted by police in Scotland in connection with a brutal sex assault on a woman.
Ivan Leach, 47, who also goes by the name Lee Cyrus, absconded from North Sea Camp, Boston, on October 9 after day release from the open prison.
Officers in Lancashire had appealed to the public for help in tracking him down, believing he was in the county, and said yesterday that he could be sleeping rough and begging the money for public.
Now it has emerged he is being hunted by Scottish police over a sexual assault on a 23-year-old woman in Perth.
Officers there believe Leach may have travelled to the Tayside area of Scotland.
A spokesman for Tayside Police, said: “We believe that (Leach) has been and could possibly still be in the Tayside area. We would ask members of the public to be vigilant and not to approach him but report any sightings to the police.
“Any information members of the public can provide could be crucial to apprehending this man.”
Leach’s previous convictions include having sex with a 13-year-old girl, slashing a woman’s throat with a screwdriver and robbing a 90-year-old widow.
Police have refused to reveal where in Tayside Leach could be but have not ruled out a potential link to the attack in the Bridgend area of the city.
A spokesman for the force added: “Leach is an absconder who we believe has been and possibly still is in the Tayside area. That means that, like our colleagues in Lancashire and Lincolnshire, we have an interest in tracing him at the earliest opportunity to fully establish where he has been and what he has been doing.”
They said the man being sought in connection with the Perth sex attack had an English accent and was wearing dark clothes, including a navy scarf, beanie hat, black jacket, grey jumper, green waterproof trousers and black belt.
Officers said the incident happened at about midnight on Monday into Tuesday when a woman was woken by an intruder in her home in the Bridgend area of Perth.
She opened her eyes to find him standing over her. He threatened her and then sexually assaulted her.
The following day, someone entered the address again and stole a king size mattress. Specialist divers trawling the River Tay unearthed a mattress yesterday.
Leach is described as being white, around five feet 11 inches tall, of stocky build with cropped hair and hazel eyes.
Police are urging members of the public not to approach Leach. Anyone with any information about his whereabouts can all police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.