We're friends, 'Night Stalker' told victim

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The Independent Online

The cab driver accused of being the "Night Stalker" burgled and sexually assaulted an 88-year-old man before telling his victim, "We're still good friends", a court heard today.

The elderly man feared he would be killed and "prayed for a quick death" when Delroy Grant broke into his house and made him undress, the jury was told.

Instead Grant, 53, indecently assaulted him and stole £60 in cash and his bank card, Woolwich Crown Court in London heard.

Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw QC said: "On his way out he touched the victim on the shoulder and said 'We're still good friends'."

The pensioner, who lived on his own, had been the victim of another burglary at his semi-detached house in Thornton Heath, south London, two months before Grant broke in early on August 13 2009, the jury heard.

The alleged victim had the "presence of mind" to give his attacker the wrong pin number for his bank card, Mr Laidlaw said.

In fact it was the directory inquiries number for the partially sighted.

Grant tried without success to use the stolen debit card at two cash machines within two hours of the burglary, the court was told.

He is accused of subjecting vulnerable pensioners to "humiliating and degrading sexual assaults" in a 17-year reign of terror.

After his arrest in November 2009 he tried to frame his own son, and then said his ex-wife had set him up.

Grant, of Brockley Mews, Honor Oak, south-east London, denies 29 counts relating to burglaries, attempted burglaries and sexual assaults against 18 pensioners in and around the south London area between October 1992 and November 2009.

Over the years Grant became forensically aware and took more trouble to avoid being caught, the court heard.

In March 2003 he burgled a 78-year-old widow living in West Dulwich, south London, then carefully wiped her hands with a cloth before leaving, the jury was told.

Mr Laidlaw said: "It is an example, the prosecution suggest, as the years passed, both of the defendant obviously having become conscious of the developments in forensic science but also of the care he was displaying as he committed these offences in order to avoid detection."

But despite Grant's efforts, police managed to obtain a match for his DNA profile from his alleged victim's fingernails, the prosecutor said.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.