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'Night Stalker' case adjourned

PUBLISHED: 12:57 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 17:22 25 August 2010

A 52-YEAR-OLD father-of-seven was in court again today (Thursday) accused of being the Night Stalker, a fiend who has raped and burgled elderly people for nearly two decades, writes Kate Nelson.

Jehovah s Witness Delroy Grant, of Brockley Mews, Brockley

A 52-YEAR-OLD father-of-seven was in court again today (Thursday) accused of being the Night Stalker, a fiend who has raped and burgled elderly people for nearly two decades, writes Kate Nelson.

Jehovah's Witness Delroy Grant, of Brockley Mews, Brockley, appeared before Greenwich Magistrates after being charged in the early hours of Monday morning.

Shaven-headed, stocky Grant was dressed all in white again after his first appearance on Monday.

He was remanded in custody until next Thursday (November 26) for a hearing at Woolwich Crown Court.

Neighbours and friends packed into the public gallery and there was a yell of 'wha gwan Del', meaning 'what's happening' as he was led to the cells following a five minute hearing.

Grant first appeared at Greenwich Magistrates on Monday where permission was sought to detain him for a further three days for more questioning.

Prosecuting Denise Clewes had said she expected more charges to be brought against Grant by today as officers were still collecting evidence but no more were.

They stand at five rapes, six indecent assaults, one burglary with intent to rape and 10 burglaries.

Amongst other offences he is accused of the rape of an 88-year-old woman in Orpington in August 1999, the indecent assault of a 71-year-old woman in Beckenham in June 1999 and three burglaries between 1999 and 2004 in Orpington, Beckenham and Bromley.

Police have scrupulously gathered statements and video evidence from the victims over the years fearing that many would not be able to appear in court because of their age. Indeed, six potential victims have died in the time it has taken for anyone to be charged.

The story has attracted global attention because it is the first time anyone has been charged in connection with the case, the crimes of which could eventually number 200 and include rape, indecent assault and burglary of both elderly men and women.

The culprit has evaded capture for nearly two decades and Operation Minstead, set up by the Met to catch him has cost over £100,000 and has entailed police officers travelling all over the world seeking clues to his identity.

It was launched to investigate crimes committed in the South East including Orpington, Shortlands, Downham, West Wickham, Sidcup, Bickley, Lee, Dulwich and Shirley, where Grant was arrested last Sunday night returning to his car.

The Met had upped the numbers of police in the Shirley area after a spate of break-ins which bore the hallmarks of the Night Stalker who is known to cut the telephone lines and electricity of his victims.

Earlier this month, police revealed more than 2,000 DNA samples had been obtained from suspects as part of their 12-year inquiry, at a cost of £102,700.

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