Ivan Leach
Violent Ivan Leach, also known as Lee Cyrus, has been on the run for two weeks (pic Lancashire Contabulary)

Lancashire Police are still desperately hunting the escaped violent convict Ivan Leach, also known as Lee Cyrus, who was serving a life sentence at the North Sea Camp, Boston.

Leach, 47, who was described as a "monster" and a "violent individual" by police, escaped from the open prison on 9 October.

He was jailed in 2005 for robbing a 90-year-old woman in Ribbleton. He had been jailed on two previous occasions; once in 1999 for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl and again in 2002 for slashing a couple with a screwdriver as they walked home.

Police now say they believe Leach, who they warned should not be approached, has grown a beard in an attempt to change his appearance.

Detective Inspector Keith Lee said: "Ivan Leach has been wanted for almost two weeks so we are concerned that 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 in the city and continue to have officers out looking for him 24/7.

"We've been really encouraged by the response from the public but I would remind people that he is violent and should not be approached.

"The best possible outcome for himself, his family and all concerned is that he gives himself up."

Leach is described as being white, 5ft 11, of a stocky build and has cropped hair and hazel eyes.

There have been numerous sightings of Leach in Preston, Avenham, Penwortham and Clayton le Woods.