Torch found on Night Stalker accused Delroy Grant was a plant, court hears
2:58pm Monday 14th March 2011 in News
A torch found by police when arresting the man accused of being the 'Night Stalker' was planted, a court heard.
Defence Counsel for Night Stalker accused Delroy Grant alleged the torch, found on the defendant during his arrest on November 15 2009, was planted by officers.
When cross examining Detective Constable Dave Matthews, who stopped Grant’s Vauxhall Zafira in Witham Road, Beckenham, that night, Courtenay Griffiths QC, defending, said: “I am going to suggest that that torch was not found in Grant’s pocket.
“What I am going to put to you is that torch was planted by police officers, which is why there’s confusion about colour and confusion about who found it.”
DC Matthews denied the allegation.
Grant, of Brockley Mews, Brockley, is accused of carrying out a string of burglaries and sex attacks on elderly men and women across south east London over 17 years.
His 29 alleged offences relate to 18 incidents in Beckenham, Bromley, Orpington, Shirley, Croydon and Forest Hill between 1992 and 2009.
Grant, a carer for his disabled wife and a father-of-seven, denies 16 counts of burglary, two attempted burglaries, three rapes, one attempted rape, six indecent assaults and one sexual assault.
Jurors were told that when Grant was arrested, he was wearing two pairs of jeans and three t-shirts and that a sock was tied around his waist in lieu of a belt.
They also heard that in his car’s glove compartment was a bolt cutter, pliers and a black woolly hat, and that a crowbar, hammer, pincers, a towel and a blue jumper were found in the boot.
When asked by police where he had been that evening, Grant is alleged to have said he had been waiting outside the Co-op to buy some “puff”, meaning cannabis.
The court also heard that police found three torches, a home-made mask, three screwdrivers, a chisel and dark clothing at his family home, where he lived with his wheelchair-bound wife, who suffers from multiple sclerosis.
During testimony at the Woolwich Crown Court trial from Detective Constable Joanne Crockford, the court heard Grant was found to be “agitated” and “pacing his police cell” after his arrest.
It is claimed Grant, 53, said: “I don’t want to fit anyone up ... have you thought about my son?
“He lives in the right area and he’s the same height as me.”
DC Crockford told the court she replied saying she would have to pass this information on.
Grant is then alleged to have replied: “No, don’t pass it on, I don’t want to fit anyone up.”
Mr Griffiths said Grant denies having any such conversation and that he and DC Crockford had spoken about his family before.
He told the court: “What he in fact said was ‘were you thinking about Delroy junior?’ and that you had mentioned Delroy junior before.
“He said he didn’t want to put Delroy junior or any of his sons in the frame.”
Mr Griffiths also asked DC Crockford why she hadn’t informed the custody sergeant about the conversation, as required by police protocol, and queried why it had taken two weeks for her to make a half-page statement.
DC Crockford said she believed that given the significance of the statement, the officers on the investigative team should be told first.
The court also heard that when Grant’s fingerprints were being taken, he said to Detective Constable Steven Purvis: “I don’t know why you’re bothering, I always wear gloves.”
Mr Griffiths said: “[Grant] says what he in fact said, in a rather light-hearted way, was 'I don’t know why you’re bothering. If I was going to commit a burglary I would put gloves on'.”
The trial continues.