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'Chilling' evidence jails man for life

A MAN who fled from prison and committed a string of crimes while he was on the run has been jailed for life.

Lee Cyrus, 48, went on a crime wave which included a string of sex offences, acts of grievous bodily harm, aggravated burglary and knifepoint robbery after he went missing from HMP North Sea Camp open prison, Lincolnshire in October 2012 when going on day release.

He is also the chief suspect in the assault of a 23-year-old woman in her home in Perth during the he was at large although the Crown office has said that it will not pursue charges against him.

Acting Detective Superintendent Raffaele D'Orsi described Cyrus as a forensically aware "predator" who relied on the "utmost cowardly approach in selecting victims - lone vulnerable women in open spaces or in their homes, to whom he used excessive and unnecessary violence".

Cyrus, also known as Ivan Leach, received sentences ranging from two years to life for offences at Southwark Crown Court. All sentences are to run concurrently.

Among his offences, Cyrus indecently exposed himself to a 53-year-old and a 62-year-old woman at Boston Cemetery, Lincolnshire, which was a desecration of the victim's time with the dead, Judge Deborah Taylor said.

The judge said that the victims came forward with great fortitude and resolve and that she found that the evidence they gave was "chilling".

Detective Sergeant James Mason, who led the investigation, said: "I'd like to pay tribute to the unfortunate victims who all suffered at the hands of this violent offender."

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