Night Stalker' case worker: There could be more victims'
PUBLISHED: 17:21 18 November 2009 | UPDATED: 10:11 12 August 2010
THE director of a charity who helped counsel victims of the Night Stalker has spoken exclusively to the Times about his reign of terror
THE director of a charity who helped counsel victims of the 'Night Stalker' has spoken exclusively to the Times about his "reign of terror."
Maureen Falloon, 60, of Age Concern Bromley, is now appealing to other possible victims of one of Britain's worst serial sex attackers to come forward.
Her heartfelt plea comes as suspect Delroy Grant was due to appear at Greenwich Magistrates Court today (Thursday) following his arrest at the weekend on several charges relating to sex attacks carried out during house break-ins.
It is thought potential victims could run in to the hundreds, prompting calls for those who may have not reported attacks to come forward.
Mrs Falloon said: "Having directly known victims of the 'Night Stalker' over many years and the horrendous impact it has left on their lives it is clear this has been a horrendous an exceptionally appalling series of crimes.
"For any woman to have her private space invaded in this way is horrifically tragic. Until recently attacks on women, especially the elderly, has been a taboo subject and still very much is. I am sure as the shock settles in more victims will be revealed.
"To anyone out there who may have been a victim but did not report it, I urge you to get in touch with the police or seek advice.
"In all my years working internationally and nationally since the early 80s I have never had to deal with anything so appalling."
Delroy Grant, 52, of Brockley Mews, is charged with several attacks on elderly woman and accused of being the illusive 'Night stalker'.
After his first brief court appearance on Monday he was handed back to detectives as they continue to quiz him about scores of other attacks dating back almost 20 years.
Amongst other offences he is accused of the rape of an 88-year-old woman in Orpington in August 1999, the indecent assault of a 71-year-old woman in Beckenham in June 1999 and three burglaries between 1999 and 2004 in Orpington, Beckenham and Bromley.
Mrs Falloon said: "I have come across victims' through a mix of circumstances.
"At the centre we are just enormously relived that some progress has been made in the case. Although it is important to stress this man has not been found guilty it is a relief to see there has been progress in an extraordinarily complex and long period with news of this arrest and charge.
"I do imagine there are a lot of cases unreported. By its very nature the people that have been targeted makes this an exceptional scenario.
"These crimes over such a long period are appalling, and for older people in this borough it has been an appalling period. It was focussed on the most vulnerable in our society over a long period of time to devastating effect.
"Because it has gone on for such a long period and it has not always had a high-profile as news of this latest development sinks in people will realise how big this case will become and how many more could be affected.
"If you have been a victim you should contact the police of if you feel you can't come to us and we will discuss it and help you report it to the police. I would encourage possible victims to come forward."
Having been director of Bromley Age Concern for 10 years Mrs Falloon was at the helm during much of the 'Night Stalkers' reign of terror in south-east London.
For staff and volunteers at the centre it was the need to keep the elderly informed but not to scare them that presented their biggest challenge.
She added: "It is one of those things where you have a situation where you don't wish to frighten people but you must not ignore it. You need to strike a balance with giving information and advice for people to stay safe but not by alarming them."
With a broad experience working in the sector she also urged people to trust police judgement in such high-profile crimes, adding: "I know there has been a lot of criticism for the police not going public but given the nature of this crime and my knowledge I fully understand the amazing, delicate case they face.
"This is a tragic case and an unbelievable amount of policing has gone in to this. If this reign of terror proves to be over it would have paid off."
Have you been a victim? Call Michael Adkins on 0208 269 7015