FIND HIM

Hunt is still on for Flintshire sex abuse suspect Michael Leaberry who has been on the run from police for around a year

The high-profile television programme this week featured the mugshot
of Michael Philip Leaberry, who has been on the run from police for
around a year.

Officers from North Wales Police are looking for him in relation to offences which took place in Flintshire.

On Monday’s show, members of the public were urged to get in touch if
they had any information relating to Leaberry, who may also be known as
Stephen Bugman or ‘Sonic’.

They added: “The 36-year-old was arrested in connection with the
alleged sexual assault of a young girl, and released on police bail, but
he’s failed to return for further questioning.

“Leaberry has links to Edinburgh, Suffolk, Norwich, Chester, North Wales and Essex.

“If you have any information, call the incident room on 01745 588732.”

Leaberry left North Wales in January 2015 and moved to Ipswich in Suffolk and later to Essex.

He failed to answer police bail in September 2015, but he is believed to have been in Ipswich on September 29.

The handling of his disappearance was this year criticised by children’s charity the NSPCC

When appealing for information about Leaberry’s whereabouts, North
Wales Police and Suffolk Police described him as a ‘missing person’.

But after renewing their appeal in May, it was revealed he is considered by police to present a risk of harm to children.

The NSPCC said it would expect the force to consider alerting the
community as soon as possible when someone was thought to be a risk to
children.

But North Wales Police said they did not warn the public sooner as they

did not want to “undermine any subsequent criminal proceedings”.

An NSPCC spokesman said: “The police often have to make complex
operational decisions about whether to make a public appeal for
information based on the intelligence they have about a suspect.

“However, we’d expect serious consideration to be given to alerting
parents, schools and the wider community at the earliest possible
opportunity when someone is thought to pose a risk to children.”

A North Wales Police spokesman said: “Since Michael Leaberry has been
missing, North Wales Police in conjunction with Suffolk Police have
pursued all lines of enquiry to try to trace his whereabouts and
safeguard the public.

“Due to those enquiries proving negative, and after careful
consideration that we do not undermine any subsequent criminal
proceedings, we took the decision to release his full details and seek
the support of the public.

“Anybody who may have seen him, or anybody who may know of his whereabouts should contact 101.”

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