A DANGEROUS and violent prisoner who absconded from an open prison has links to East Lancashire.

Ivan Leach, also known as Lee Cyrus, 47, went missing from North Sea Camp, Boston on Tuesday, October 9 after going on day release, something he regularly did as he approached the end of his sentence.

Since his disappearance police have received sightings of him in Clayton-le-Woods and around Preston. He also has links to the Blackburn area.

Police think he has grown a beard as as an attempted disguise.

Leach was jailed in 2005 for robbing a 90-year-old woman in Preston.

In 1999 he pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old schoolgirl and was jailed for 14 months.

She said Cyrus spiked her drink and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

Cyrus was ordered to register under the Sexual Offenders Act for 10 years.

The NSPCC has warned that there was a high risk he would reoffend sexually against children.

Lancashire Police have a dedicated team of officers looking for him but are appealing for the public to be vigilant.

Detective Inspector Keith Lee said: “Ivan Leach has been wanted for two weeks so we are concerned he may be becoming increasingly desperate.

“We have intelligence to suggest he is now sporting a beard and looking unkempt which is a significant change in his appearance.

“It is possible that he is sleeping rough and approaching members of the public asking for money.

“He is a dangerous individual but I’d reassure people that we have extra patrols looking for him.”

Ivan Leach is described as white, around 5f 11ins tall, of stocky build with cropped hair and hazel eyes.

Information can be passed to local police either in person or on 101.