Night Stalker rapes 'stuff of nightmares', jury told

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The Night Stalker rapist's campaign of "sickening and depraved" attacks on the elderly is the "stuff of nightmares", a court heard today.

The motivation behind Delroy Grant's rapes and burglaries between 1992 and 2009 is difficult to understand by normal standards, Jonathan Laidlaw QC, prosecuting, said.

Delivering his closing speech to a jury at Woolwich Crown Court,in London, Mr Laidlaw said Grant's "highly-skilled" series of attacks "really is the stuff of nightmares and the sort of case which keeps us all awake at night".

His defence that his ex-wife framed him after storing his semen in 1977 "simply defies belief", Mr Laidlaw added.

"If you decide this defendant is the person responsible for these attacks, then his approach to this trial is a further demonstration of his arrogance and deeply-flawed nature."

Grant never considered the impact his torment would have on his victims, Mr Laidlaw said.

He said: "In the last years of their lives, did he ever stop to think about their families? The answer is never, he did not.

"What could have motivated the perpetrator to commit these offences is difficult, if not impossible, to understand by normal standards."

Earlier, Mr Laidlaw accused Grant of inventing a "cock and bull story" and making up "utter, utter rubbish" as part of his defence.

During cross-examination, twice-married Grant was told he would "stoop to any level" to avoid prosecution and his defence was a "complete fabrication from start to finish".

But, standing in the witness box, Grant denied claims he had a "complete inability" to face up to his crimes.

Grant said: "For what reason would anyone want to rape old women?"

Mr Laidlaw, staring at Grant as he appeared in the witness box, agreed, saying "that is, as you say, a very good question".

As Mr Laidlaw questioned Grant about his claim that ex-wife Janet Watson had kept his semen for decades, the barrister said: "If these charges were not so grave, this could be almost laughable as an account."

Grant said nothing as Mr Laidlaw added: "The idea that Janet Watson, who has already suffered at your hands, was behind this elaborate scheme to frame you is pure fiction and fantasy - an elaborate invention by you from start to finish."

As Mr Laidlaw said Ms Watson was a "thoroughly decent hard-working mother", Grant said: "I do not accept that."

Mr Laidlaw added later: "You are a liar who changes his position whenever it is necessary to do so."

Grant replied: "I change nothing."

The defendant, 53, had earlier denied telling officers there was no point taking his fingerprints "as he always wore gloves", said police had planted a torch in his pocket and insisted a fleece and crowbar found in his car had been planted by Ms Watson and an accomplice.

Grant said he could not say why Ms Watson would wait 15 years to commit the first crime or why she never reported his name to police in a bid to frame him.

He said he believed the first bid to frame him was a "prototype" as there was not another attack for six years.

The court heard he had been wearing two pairs of jeans, two pairs of underpants and three t-shirts on the night of his arrest in 2009.

He said his decision to wear multiple layers could be explained as he was helping his lover decorate her kitchen.

But Mr Laidlaw said the outfit was a "burglary kit" so he could quickly change appearance to avoid detection by CCTV cameras at cash machines.

As his evidence came to a close, Grant added: "I am not the Minstead offender."

Grant is said to have targeted a total of 18 victims in their homes between 1992 and 2009.

The defendant, of Brockley Mews, Honor Oak, south London, denies all the offences in Warlingham, Shirley, Beckenham, Bromley, Addiscombe, Orpington and West Dulwich, all in south London.

The case continues.