April 20 2014 Latest news:

Latest London news, sport & entertainment

Local Weather



max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C

Five-day forecast

Hampstead Heath sex beast Lee Cyrus found guilty of string of attacks on women

Lee Cyrus, formerly known as Ivan Leach, has been convicted of 11 charges Lee Cyrus, formerly known as Ivan Leach, has been convicted of 11 charges

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
4:41 PM

A sex beast who stalked a string of women while on the run from a life sentence for beating a 92-year-old widow senseless is facing years behind bars.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Lee Cyrus, 48, formerly known as Ivan Leach, launched his terrifying campaign of violence and exposure after he wandered out of North Sea Camp open prison in Boston, Linconshire.

Cyrus sparked a nationwide manhunt after absconding from the open prison, while on day release on October 9 last year.

He donned a balaclava before prowling for victims at Boston Cemetery and Crematorium, then travelling to Hampstead Heath, Southwark Crown Court heard.

During his crime spree last autumn, he held a woman at knife-point and was carrying a blade when he smashed his way into an 81-year-old’s home.

The fugitive was eventually snared after a sharp-eyed policeman spotted him walking along Highgate Hill, Highgate, in the early hours of December 2 last year.

During his month-long trial at the court, he insisted police had simply “got the wrong man”.

But a jury of four men and eight women who found Cyrus guilty of five counts of exposure, wounding with intent, unlawful wounding, affray, aggravated burglary, robbery, burglary, after 10 hours and two minutes deliberation.

He was cleared of a further charge of exposure, which allegedly took place in Jack Straws Car Park, Hampstead, on October 28, and attempted rape.

Sporting a moustache and wearing a brown t-shirt, Cyrus shook his head as the verdict was announced.

Adjourning sentence, Judge Deborah Taylor said: “It is a matter of grave concern the level of supervision in the community which was given to the defendant prior to his parole board hearing in this case.

“It’s something the court would wish to hear more about prior to the sentencing hearing.”

Prior to his escape, Cyrus had been living in lodgings close to the open prison with other lags who were being prepared for release in the community, and working in the nearby cemetery.

The only restriction on his liberty was a requirement that he sign himself in and out when leaving, the court heard.

The sexual predator failed to return to the prison lodgings on October 9 before boarding a London-bound coach on October 20.

Prosecutor Christopher Amis told the jury: “The crown’s case is that for six weeks, Lee Cyrus, on a number of occasions whilst armed with a knife and wearing a black balaclava, stalked and terrorised female members of the public walking on and living in Hampstead Heath.

“His offences consisted initially of indecently exposing himself to women while walking on the Heath.

“On most occasions he was careful to disguise his face as he prowled wooded and secluded areas.

“His offences increased in seriousness.

“They graduated to brutal attacks on elderly females, who he targeted because they were alone in their own homes.

“They included the robbery of one woman, who had a knife held to her neck, the knife-point aggravated burglary of an 81-year-old woman’s home, and culminated in an incident in which the defendant, waiting in the shadows late one night, leapt out and exposed himself to a woman who was walking home alone.”

Cyrus, of no fixed address, will be sentenced on December 13.

Share this article


   Local advertisers

Other Crime & Court Articles

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Ham&High on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Hampstead businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Ham&High, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE