By: Eammon Jacobs
ITV’s Manhunt: The Nightstalker starts airing on 20th September and follows DCI Colin Sutton (Martin Clunes) as he tries to catch a serial rapist and burglar who terrorised South East London for 17 years. The vicious attacker targeted vulnerable, elderly women from 1992 to 2009 in a horrific series of offences.
The new TV series is a follow-up to 2019’s Manhunt, which followed Colin Sutton’s investigation into the deaths of Amélie Delagrange, Milly Dowler, and Marsha McDonnell. The series was met with critical acclaim, as it dramatised the real-life investigation in a way that didn’t do disservice to the victims or those who worked on the case. The show’s dedication to authenticity was a big hit with audiences, and it came as no surprise when ITV commissioned a second series based on another investigation that Sutton helped solve.
But what happened to Delroy Grant (played by Jude Akuwudike in Manhunt, pictured above), and where is he now?
Who is Delroy Grant?
Delroy Grant is a serial rapist and burglar who committed over 100 assaults between 1992 and 2009, although police suggested it’s possible his offences went as far back as 1990. He would only attack elderly women who lived alone in detached or semi-detached houses and bungalows. He would make sure to disable telephone wires as well as switching off the electrics or unscrewing the lightbulbs to make his victims even more vulnerable.
Police suggested that Delroy was ashamed of his violent tendencies because he often went a long time without committing another offence. As per Crime and Investigation UK, Grant’s second wife Jennifer Edwards was a Jehovah’s Witness and her husband was seen as a “pillar of the community.” Delroy even became Jennifer’s carer by day after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and he worked as a taxi driver by night to provide for the family.
Despite this, it's clear that he enjoyed wielding power over the elderly – which is why the police were so determined to catch him. This is partly why Operation Minstead was the largest rape investigation ever carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service.
What happened to Delroy Grant?
DCI Colin Sutton was brought on to help assess why Operation Minstead had failed to catch the Night Stalker, and the officer quickly picked up on the fact that Delroy frequently targeted a specific street in Croydon. This led to the operation focusing its efforts in the area, and Sutton was given funding for extra officers to help detain the Night Stalker.
Eventually, the team spotted a mysterious figure running to a silver Vauxhall Zafira on CCTV close to where one of the offences had been carried out. Officers later found the same car over two weeks later in the same area and managed to arrest Delroy at 2AM on 15th November 2009 after he’d tried to break into a house nearby.
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Delroy Grant eventually appeared in court on 3rd March 2011, facing 29 different charges of burglary, indecent assault and rape. He was found guilty by the jury on 24th March 2011.
Where is Delroy Grant now?
Judge Peter Rook handed Delroy Grant four life sentences for his crimes, ordering him to serve a minimum of 27 years behind bars. He’s currently incarcerated at HMP Belmarsh in Thamesmead.
The focus in Manhunt: The Night Stalker won’t be on the criminal. Instead it will keep the spotlight on Colin Sutton’s dedication in tracking him down, along with the rest of the officers who worked tirelessly as part of Operation Minstead.
Manhunt: The Night Stalker will air on Monday 20th September at 9pm on ITV. You can order Colin Sutton’s Manhunt: The Night Stalker from Amazon. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.