After a serial rapist terrorised the streets in South East London for years, leaving thousands of elderly people fearing for their lives, there was one man who could catch such an evil criminal.
Unable to stop the serial rapist and burglar Delroy Grant from committing his heinous crimes, the police brought in detective chief inspector Colin Sutton.
Evil serial rapist Delroy Grant carried out countless burglary and sexual assault offences between October 1992 and May 2008 across South East London including Croydon, Bromley, Catford. Forest Hill, Dulwich, Sidcup, Orpington and Beckenham.
Grant, aka the night stalker, preyed on elderly women, and some men, who lived alone, often attacking them in their beds at night.
His reign of terror happened over a period of 17 years and went undetected until Sutton took on the harrowing case.
Sutton was only weeks away from retirement when he accepted to lead the team responsible for capturing Grant.
Colin Sutton’s story on how he captured the night stalker Delroy Grant has been dramatised for ITV’s new Manhunt series.
Actor Martin Clunes has reprised his role as Sutton following the first series in 2019.
Here’s how DCI Sutton caught Grant
Delroy Grant went undetected for years.
In 2001, detective superintendent Simon Morgan took over Operation Minstead, the codename for the investigation into rapes linked to the Night Stalker.
Although careful not to leave fingerprints, Grant did not use a condom, and so left a trail of DNA at the crimes scenes, but wasn’t on the police system as he’d never been arrested.
As the number of attacks neared 100 by 2006, police were struggling to pin down the night stalker.
In 2009, the investigation was taken over by detective chief inspector Colin Sutton who developed Minstead Lite and set up a ‘Rat Trap’ by using hidden cameras, look-out posts, and a helicopter carrying an infra-red camera to see in the dark in Shirley, one of Delroy’s most common haunts.
He also had a team of over 75 officers working to catch Grant red-handed and waiting for him to strike, a plan of Sutton’s that paid off.
On the night of November 14, 2009, an officer spotted a suspicious-looking man run to his silver car parked in the ‘rat trap’ area before driving away.
Grant was caught in Witham Road, Penge, with a crowbar in his boot and a woolly hat in his glove box.
The 64-year-old was convicted of sex attacks on pensioners in 2011.
Police reportedly believe Grant may have attacked hundreds of people, and his victims ranged in age from 68 to 93 – 10 of these victims were men.
Given the ages of Grant’s victims, many were in poor health and had died by the time he was caught and brought to justice.
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Here’s what happened to Delroy Grant
At the time of his arrest, Grant was living in Brockley Mews, Brockley, South East London.
In 2011, at the age of 53, he was found guilty of 29 offences, including burglary, rape, and sexual assault.
Grant was sentenced to four life sentences with a minimum of 27 years in prison and is serving time at an undisclosed location.
He will not be considered for parole until he’s served 25 years.
What happened to DCI Colin Sutton
Former Met Police DCI Colin Sutton is now retired and living in Suffolk.
He was a senior investigating officer in the Metropolitan Police from 2003 to 2011 and was also responsible for locking up Amélie Delagrange’s killer Levi Bellfield, which was dramatised in the first series of Manhunt.
The police force veteran now conducts private investigations for large companies and individuals and has also appeared on BBC, ITV and Sky news programmes, commenting on prolific cases such as those of Madeleine McCann and Steven Lawrence.
Sutton has written about the complex cases he worked on during his time in the force, including the capture and conviction of Delroy Grant and capturing serial killer Levi Bellfield which have both been dramatised for both Manhunt series.
You can keep up to date with Colin Sutton by following him on Twitter here.
*The final episode of Manhunt airs Thursday (September 23), however you can catch up on the ITV Hub and Britbox.
For more TV news and gossip, visit our dedicated page.
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