'Night Stalker' Suspect Charged With 22 OffencesFrom The Times
November 17, 2009
Adam Fresco, Crime Correspondent, and Steve Bird
A father of five suspected of being one of Britain’s most prolific sexual predators was arrested during a huge surveillance operation.
Just after midnight on Sunday morning, Delroy Grant, 52, was taken into custody by Metopolitan Police officers hunting for the man known as the Night Stalker, who has attacked scores of elderly women in their homes.
Up to 70 officers were involved in the two-week operation. After the arrest the Forensic Science Service took DNA samples from the suspect to be compared with samples already taken from crime scenes.
The results will form part of the evidence at any trial involving Mr Grant, who has been charged with 22 offences, including rape, indecent assault, burglary and burglary with violence between October 1992 and May 2009. The female victims involved in the allegations range in age from 71 to 89.
At Greenwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Mr Grant, a full-time carer to his wife, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.
District Judge Angus Hamilton remanded him into police custody until Thursday, when he is due to appear in court again. The Night Stalker is thought to have struck in South and southeast London nearly 200 times since the early 1990s. Most of his victims have been women, although he is thought to have assaulted men as well.
Grant’s arrest came after Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, ordered a fresh approach to the inquiry, which has involved hundreds of officers over the years.
Neighbours of Mr Grant described him as polite, well dressed and a dedicated family man who took an active role in community life.
Living in a three-storey house at the end of a terrace in Brockley, southeast London, the former decorator and carpenter gave up work five years ago to look after his wife, Jennifer, 45. At the weekends he would put on a shirt and tie to push her in her wheelchair from their home to the Jehovah’s Witness service in Forest Hill.
Local residents described their shock at the arrest of Mr Grant, who had lived in their midst for nearly 20 years.
“He was just like you and me. He was your average guy; a little bit shy, perhaps,” said Tony, a neighbour who recalled his warmth and generosity.
“Delroy was dedicated to his wife and the kids. He looked after her night and day and had converted the garage into a bedroom for her. Their children were the politest on the street.”
Mr Grant would meet his friends who, like him, had arrived in Britain from the Caribbean as young boys, at the nearby Royal British Legion club and play dominoes.
Harley Burford, minister at the Forest Hill Jehovah’s Witnesses services, said: “They were a lovely family.
“He was a Jehovah’s Witness at one time but is not an active member any more, unlike his wife who he used to bring to the meetings.”
Mr Grant married his first wife in Lewisham in 1975. After they split up, he married Jennifer Edwards in Lewisham in 1991. They have five sons, all but one of whom is grown-up. It is understood that Mrs Grant has twins by a previous relationship.