Delroy Grant: who is the UK Night Stalker, when did DCI Colin Sutton catch him, and where is he now?

ITV true crime drama Manhunt: The Night Stalker is based on the memoirs of detective Colin Sutton, played by Martin Clunes

ITV’s latest true crime drama revisited the case of the Night Stalker, Delroy Grant, and the 17-year-long manhunt to catch him.

The convicted serial rapist carried out a series of offences of burglary, rape and sexual assault between October 1992 and May 2009 in London.

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Manhunt: The Night Stalker, starring Martin Clunes as DCI Colin Sutton, told the the story of his tireless investigation which ended with him finding and catching the perpetrator.

But, how did Grant manage to evade justice for nearly two decades - and where is he now? This is what you need to know.

Who is Delroy Grant?

Delroy Easton Grant was born in September 1957 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Not much is known about his early life, but at the time of his arrest he was living in Brockley Mews, South East London.

He was married and cared for his wife, who had multiple sclerosis.

Delroy Grant had been described as a family man by his neighbours, he also regularly attended church

What did he do?

Grant is a convicted rapist and burglar who terrorised pensioners in South East London, across a 17-year period.

He managed to evade justice due to a number of errors in the police investigation of his offences, but was arrested in 2009 in connection to around 100 sexual assaults.

His crimes earned him the nickname ‘The Night Stalker,’ and he was also referred to as ‘The Minstead Rapist’, because the operation carried out to hunt him down was called Operation Minstead.

On 24 March 2011, Grant was found guilty on 22 counts of rape, sexual assault and burglary of elderly women.

Following his arrest, his Neighbour Deniz Ahmet said: "His wife was in a wheelchair. He was always pushing her around.

"During the day he was a normal partner, we couldn't tell that he was the way he was.

"She always had a smile on her face, she looked happy and content."

What crimes was he convicted of?

Grant targeted elderly women in South East London, Surrey and Kent from October 1992 until his arrest in November 2009.

He would break into his victims’ homes and disconnect the phone line and electricity, leaving them in complete darkness. He was also known to remove light bulbs and sometimes removed entire window panels or climbed through open windows.

Dressed all in black and masked with a balaclava, Grant would wake his victims using a torch, before raping them and fleeing from the scene.

The boot of his car when he was arrested

Sometimes he would take small amounts of money or jewellery, though this is not thought to have been the motive behind his attacks.

A dedicated unit, Operation Minstead, was established in 1998 to hunt down the man who became known as The Night Stalker.

The perpetrator of the crimes was thought to have knowledge of medical care, particularly geriatrics, as he would often position his victims in ways which supported their spines.

He once apologised to a victim after raping her, taking her pulse and telling her “I’m sorry, I won’t do this again.”

Grant is believed to have left long periods of time between some of his crimes, he first struck in 1992 and then not again until 1997.

After leaving a victim almost fatally injured with a perforated bowel, did not strike again until 2003. He carried out another string of attacks in 2008 and 2009.

By the time of his arrest, Grant is thought to have assaulted more than 203 women, the youngest in her late 60s and the eldest aged 93.

Detective Superintendent Simon Morgan, who headed the Minstead team from 2001 to October 2009, explained the problems in arriving at a definitive total of offences in this series by saying, "His victims come from a generation who are inclined to see good in everyone.

“One thanked him for being gentle when he raped her". Another said she did not want to dial 999 "because I know the police are already so busy."

He was charged with only 22 counts, but is thought to have carried out over 200 separate rapes and sexual assaults.

In 2011, he was convicted of five counts of rape, six counts of indecent assault and 11 counts of burglary.

How was he eventually caught?

Grant was arrested on 15 November 2009, when police officers covertly monitoring the area of Croydon following attempted break-ins, found him walking back to his car after trying to enter an elderly woman’s home.

DCI Colin Sutton, who had also headed up the investigation which led to the conviction of Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield, was brought in to support the case. At this point the investigation had been going on for more than 10 years and there were no leads.

The detective said on Amazon Prime documentary ‘Evil Up Close: The Night Stalker’ that he “had been handed a poison chalice.”

The case had drawn blanks, despite detectives later revealing that Grant’s car had been spotted at one victim’s home in 1998 and linked to a ‘Delroy Grant’. However, DNA found at the scene was checked against a different Delroy Grant and no match was made.

Then when Grant’s name was given by another tip off following a similar attack years later, the mishap from the initial DNA blunder meant Delroy Grant was ruled out without further inquiries.

When DCI Sutton was drafted in to solve the case, he applied the same techniques he had used when searching for Bellfield.

He decided to change tactics from using DNA, and instead set up a burglary squad of over 70 officers and deployed them in and around a street in Croydon where there had been regular attacks.

Sutton established an in-depth surveillance plan for the street and on their first night of watch, the Night Stalker attacked three times, but each attack was just outside the area being surveilled.

However, police managed to catch the rapist running to his car on CCTV, and examined each frame to identify his vehicle.

The police identified the assailant and caught him on CCTV approaching his car

The car was then spotted in the same neighbourhood by a member of the surveillance team a few weeks later, at the time Grant was attempting to break into another elderly woman’s home.

He was caught as he approached his car, at around 2am on November 15 2009.

DCI Sutton said of the sex predator’s crimes: "Officially we have looked at 203 offences but my guess would be you could probably double or treble that number."

Later, Sutton said of the rapist: “People say he was a charmer, a nice guy, a regular bloke.

“There was a lot of surprise when he was arrested. People just wouldn’t have thought that Delroy Grant was the Night Stalker.”

Where is Delroy Grant now?

Grant was sentenced to 27 years in prison and will be eligible for parole after serving 25 years.

He was convicted on 25 March 2011 so he could be released in 2036.

Grant is currently incarcerated in HMP Belmarsh in South East London.

What is ITV’s Manhunt: The Night Stalker about?

ITV’s latest adaptation of DCI Sutton’s investigations will look into the case of the ‘Night Stalker,’ Delroy Grant.

The four-part series tells the real life story of the police pursuit of the Night Stalker, and is based on the diaries of Colin Sutton, played by BAFTA-award-winning actor Martin Clunes.

Clunes reprises the role after playing Sutton in the first series of Manhunt (2019), which explored the investigation into the murder of French student Amélie Delagrange, which led to the arrest and conviction of Levi Bellfield.

Bellfield was subsequently sentenced for the murder of British Schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

When is Manhunt: The Night Stalker on ITV?

All four episodes of Manhunt: The Night Stalker are available on the ITV hub.