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Sex attacker Lee Cyrus sentenced to life in prison at Southwark Crown Court
A man who was convicted of a series of sex attacks and violent robberies has been sentenced to life in prison.
Lee Cyrus, also known as Ivan Leach, went on a one-man crime spree after he absconded from prison in Lincolnshire on October 9, 2012.
He carried out 11 attacks, targeting women and the elderly in the boroughs of Barnet, Camden and Haringey before being caught two months later.
Cyrus appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, December 13, and was ordered to serve a minimum of 11 years in prison.
The 48-year-old attacked a 33-year-old woman at knifepoint as she entered her home in Crouch End, on Friday, November 30 at 12.30am.
She told police she saw Cyrus standing in front of her wearing a dark coloured balaclava and gloves.
He demanded her bag and then grabbed it, but the victim resisted.
Cyrus produced a knife and pressed it up against her neck, cutting her chin and throat.
She let go of the bag instantly and Cyrus made off with her mobile phone, cash, credit card, keys, glasses and other items.
In another attack, in Barnet, Cyrus burgled an 81-year-old woman at her home on November 19, 2012.
He broke into her house armed with a large kitchen knife and demanded money, taking her bag, which contained cash, credit card, photos of her grandchildren, and other items.
During the trial, the court heard how Cyrus went missing from HMP North Sea Camp open prison, in Boston, Lincolnshire, in October last year after going on day release.
Within weeks of his absconding there were a number of indecent exposure offences in the Hampstead Heath area.
He was finally caught after police in Camden captured Cyrus within minutes of him threatening and indecently exposing himself to a 45-year-old lone female in the Dartmouth Park Hill area, on December 2, 2012.
The victim told officers that he said he was going to rape her.
Cyrus was arrested after a brief struggle and taken to Kentish Town Police Station.
Following his arrest, police searched the room which Cyrus was staying in and found stolen items as well as the black balaclava, black boots, black gloves all relevant to the offending.
In her summing up, Judge Deborah Taylor said Cyrus was a dangerous man who committed a series of appalling offences.
She said she found him to be a very manipulative man seeking out and preying on the vulnerability of women.
The judge concluded that the victims came forward with great fortitude and resolve and that she found that the evidence they gave was 'chilling'.
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