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Escaped prisoner found hiding in Highgate Cemetery

17:34 30 January 2013

Escaped prisoner Ivan Leach was on the run when he was apprehended by police in Highgate Cemetery

Escaped prisoner Ivan Leach was on the run when he was apprehended by police in Highgate Cemetery

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A prison absconder captured after seeking sanctuary in Highgate Cemetery is being questioned over a number of offences allegedly committed on Hampstead Heath while he was at large, the Ham&High understands.

During a seven-week manhunt, police scoured the Heath for Ivan Leach, who went missing from North Sea Camp open prison in Boston, Lincolnshire, in October.

Leach, 47, also known as Lee Cyrus, was traced to the cemetery, the burial place of Karl Marx and former Russian secret agent Alexander Litvinenko, where he was arrested.

Last month at Blackfriars Crown Court, Leach, from Preston, Lancashire, was sentenced to seven weeks in prison for being unlawfully at large.

Now a small team on Camden’s major crime unit are investigating whether Leach is linked to a series of crimes on the Heath in November.

Documents seen by the Ham&High reveal that the Heath Constabulary and Met Police launched a manhunt for Leach after a “spate of low level sexual offences were reported on the Heath”.

Heath users reported six sightings of a flasher on the open space in November, but the suspect was never caught.

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