A MINICAB driver accused of being the serial offender dubbed the Night Stalker suggested to police his son might be responsible for the string of sex attacks and burglaries he is accused of carrying out on elderly victims over a 17 year period, a jury heard today.
Delroy Grant, of Brockley Mews, Brockley, is charged with 16 burglaries, two attempted burglaries, three rapes, one attempted rape, six indecent assaults and one sexual assault between 1992 and 2009.
The 53-year-old, who sat in the dock at Woolwich Crown Court wearing a pinstripe suit, is alleged to have committed the 29 offences at homes in Beckenham, Bromley, Orpington, Forest Hill, Shirley and Croydon.
Days after Grant’s arrest in November 2009, the court heard an officer went to his cell to provide him with deodorant.
Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “He seemed agitated, he was pacing his cell and he said ‘I do not want to fit anyone up’."
Asked what he meant, the defendant said, ‘Have you thought about my son Delroy Junior?’”
When asked why his son might be responsible, Grant is alleged to have said: “He lives in the right area and he is the same height at me”.
But when told the information would have to be passed on, Grant responded: “No, don’t pass it on. I don’t want to fit anyone up.”
Today jurors heard Jamaican-born Grant removed windows of victims’ homes to gain entry, took out light bulbs and cut their telephone cables.
The prosecution claimed DNA, tool marks and CCTV of Grant’s Vauxhall Zafira linked the defendant to the 18 incidents.
On March 7 in 2003, Grant is said to have burgled the West Dulwich home of a 78-year-old woman, who woke at 2am to find her electricity had been turned off.
Mr Laidlaw said: “As she searched for her torch, she suddenly became aware of the intruder: as she put it, a ‘huge black figure looming over’ her.
“The defendant pushed the old lady to the ground and he was over her, with his hand covering her mouth.”
The court heard Grant demanded money while his victim, who described the defendant as “considerate”, lay on the ground.
Mr Laidlaw said Grant searched her home and then used a cloth to wipe her hands.
He said: “It is another example, as the years passed, both of the defendant having become conscious of the developments in forensic science and of the care he displayed to avoid detection.”
Eighteen months later on September 8 in 2004, the prosecution said Grant burgled the home of an 84-year-old widow in Bromley.
The court heard Grant, wearing gloves and carrying a torch, again woke his victim in the early hours of the night asking for money after cutting the telephone line.
The jury of five women and seven men were told, after a four and a half year gap, Grant carried out five burglaries, one attempted burglary and one sexual assault over a six month period in 2009.
These were his final offences leading up to his arrest in November, the court heard.
In one of the alleged burglaries, at 2am on August 13 in Thornton Heath, an 88-year-old man woke to find “a black figure climbing the staircase”.
The court heard the defendant “spoke quietly” and led the man back to his bedroom where he told him to undress.
Mr Laidlaw said: “The victim thought he was about to be killed, that the intruder would produce a knife. He prayed for a quick death.”
Grant sexually assaulted the man and took his cash and debit card, the court heard.
Jurors were told that on his way out, Grant touched the victim on the shoulder and said “We’re still good friends”.
The court heard it was an attempted burglary of an 86-year-old woman’s home in Shirley that led to Grant’s arrest shortly after midnight on November 15.
Mr Laidlaw said it was “not clear” why Grant abandoned his attempt to break into the widow’s home.
He said police surveillance officers who were part of Operation Minstead, set up to catch the Night Stalker, saw Grant run along her road and get into his Vauxhall Zafira.
Grant was arrested after his car was stopped in Witham Road, Beckenham.
The court heard Grant first gave his name as Kelvin Grant but when told there were bank cards in the car in a different name, he gave the name of Delroy Eastern.
He also told police he had been out trying to buy cannabis.
Officers found a torch and crowbar connected to the offences and a blue cagoule, fleece and hat which the defendant was said to have been wearing during the burglaries.
Mr Laidlaw told the jury about Grant having his fingerprints taken at Lewisham police station, he said: “The officer told him, ‘I am making sure I get ink all over your hands and get a good print’ to which the defendant replied, ‘I don’t know why you’re bothering I always wear gloves’.”
Grant denies all charges.