Night Stalker case worker: THERE COULD BE MORE VICTIMS'
PUBLISHED: 14:36 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 17:22 25 August 2010
THE director of a charity who helped counsel victims of the Night Stalker has spoken exclusively to the Times about his reign of terror. Maureen Falloon, 60, of Age Concern, is now appealing to other possible victims of one of Britain s worst serial
THE director of a charity who helped counsel victims of the 'Night Stalker' has spoken exclusively to the Times about his "reign of terror."
Maureen Falloon, 60, of Age Concern, is now appealing to other possible victims of one of Britain's worst serial sex attackers to come forward.
Her heartfelt plea comes as suspect Delroy Grant was due to appear at Greenwich Magistrates Court today following his arrest at the weekend on several charges relating to sex a ttacks carried out during house break-ins.
It is thought potential victims could run in to the hundreds. This has prompted calls for suspected victims who may not have reported attacks to come forward with similar incidents reported in the Sidcup area.
Mrs Falloon said: "Having directly known victims of the 'Night Stalker' over many years and the horrendous impact it has left on their lives it is clear this has been a horrendous an exceptionally appalling series of crimes.
"For any woman to have her private space invaded in this way is horrifically tragic. Until recently attacks on women, especially the elderly, has been a taboo subject and still very much is. I am sure as the shock settles in more victims will be revealed.
"To anyone out there who may have been a victim but did not report it, I urge you to get in touch with the police or seek advice.
"In all my years working internationally and nationally since the early 80s I have never had to deal with anything so appalling."
She added: "I have come across victims' through a mix of circumstances.
"At the centre we are just enormously relived that some progress has been made in the case. Although it is important to stress this man has not been found guilty it is a relief to see there has been progress in an extraordinarily complex and long period with news of this arrest and charge.
"I do imagine there are a lot of cases unreported. By its very nature the people that have been targeted makes this an exceptional scenario.
Having been director of Bromley Age Concern for 10 years Mrs Falloon was at the helm during much of the 'Night Stalkers' reign of terror in south-east London.
For staff and volunteers at the centre it was the need to keep the elderly informed but not to scare them that presented their biggest challenge.
She added: "It is one of those things where you have a situation where you don't wish to frighten people but you must not ignore it. You need to strike a balance with giving information and advice for people to stay safe but not by alarming them."
"If you have been a victim you should contact the police of if you feel you can't come to us and we will discuss it and help you report it to the police. I would encourage possible victims to come forward."
With a broad experience working in the sector she also urged people to trust police judgement in such high-profile crimes, adding: "I know there has been a lot of criticism for the police not going public but given the nature of this crime and my knowledge I fully understand the amazing, delicate case they face.
"This is a tragic case and an unbelievable amount of policing has gone in to this. If this reign of terror proves to be over it would have paid off."
Chairman of Bexley Pensioners' Forum Terry Murphy described how the attacks inflicted terror on elderly people in the area when they first began some 17 years ago.
He said: "When it first started people were very scared. A lot of people were talking about it. We've had lots of meetings about it at the forum.
"There had been seven or eight attacks but all we knew was that the police were looking for someone in the South East. But the South East is a big area and that made it worse. It made you think 'could it be someone I know? Could it be my neighbour?'
"It was strange though because there were such long gaps between the rapes but then one would happen again and everyone would be frightened. We used to tell people to lock their doors. It sounds terrifying, being woken up with a torch in your eyes. It must be really frightening."
Mr Murphy echoed the plea of Mrs Falloon for any potential victims who have not contacted the police to do so.
He added: "It's important that whoever is responsible is charged for all of the offences not just some of them. People should come forward."
Have you been a victim? Call Michael Adkins on 0208 269 7015