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Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Lee Cyrus convicted for a series of sexual offences in Hampstead Heath


Lee Cyrus, previously known as Ivan Leach, was convicted today at Southwark Crown Court for 11 offences including exposure, robbery, aggravated burglary and wounding with intent. He will be sentenced on 13 December.

Baljit Ubhey, CPS London Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "Cyrus conducted a terrifying campaign of increasingly violent crimes in the Hampstead Heath area between 24 October and 2 December 2012.

"He targeted lone and vulnerable women and was often armed with a knife. His actions began as incidents of indecent exposure and progressed to brutal attacks on elderly women in their own homes.

"Lee Cyrus is a violent sex offender and his conviction today means that the public are now protected from his predatory impulses.

"I would like to thank all of the victims and witnesses who gave evidence in court, including one elderly victim who gave evidence via video link from America.

"Cyrus refused to admit any involvement in these crimes and the prosecution team and police pieced together a huge quantity of crucial evidence in order to present the strongest case possible to the court. This has ultimately led to his conviction and he has now been brought to justice for these crimes."


In 2012 Cyrus was a serving prisoner at an open prison, HMP North Sea Camp, in Lincolnshire. He committed two offences in Lincolnshire while still a serving prisoner on day release before absconding on 9 October, sparking a three-month nationwide manhunt.

Timeline and details of offences

In Boston Cemetery, Lincolnshire:

  • Indecent exposure on 8 September
  • Indecent exposure on 15 September

In the Hampstead Heath area:

  • Indecent exposure on 24 October
  • Affray on 28 October
  • Indecent exposure on 28 October
  • Unlawful wounding on 2 November
  • Aggravated burglary on 19 November
  • Wounding with Intent on 20 November
  • Robbery on 30 November
  • Burglary on 1 December
  • Indecent exposure on 2 December

Cyrus was acquitted of one further count of indecent exposure on 28 October.


Notes to Editors

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