Delroy Grant came across to his friends as a man you could trust.

Warm, charming and always friendly, he was apparently a devoted carer to his wife Jennifer, who used a wheelchair because she suffered multiple sclerosis.

Grant followed cricket, liked to fish and enjoyed community barbeques where he would share jokes and reminisce about his childhood in Jamaica.

But his respectable image lies in tatters after he was convicted of being the notorious Night Stalker – one of the most prolific sex offenders of modern times.

Grant stalked the streets of south London at night for almost two decades, burgling and raping the elderly.

He is known to have attacked more than 200 times, but police fear the toll could be much higher as many of his victims were simply to ashamed to come forward.

Most shocking were the ages and vulnerability of his victims. Most of them were over 80.

When he was arrested, Grant remained arrogant and aloof, refusing to answer questions or discuss the attacks, leaving police to fear they may never know what drove him to commit such despicable acts.

Delroy Easton Grant was born in Jamaica in 1957, the youngest of three boys. He was raised by an elderly aunt after his mother walked out on the family when he was aged just two.

Police have looked into his childhood to see if there is any evidence of abuse that may explain his sexual fascination with the elderly. They’ve found nothing.

At the age of 15, Grant’s father George, an HGV driver, moved to Britain bringing the teenager with him.

A deeply Christian man, George, hoped the move would give the youngster a better chance in life than if he remained on the violent streets of Jamaica.

After his son’s arrest, Grant told the Daily Telegraph: “I brought him to England to develop himself so that he would try and get a good job and look what he did.

“He has brought shame on the whole family. He needs to stand on his own two feet, he is a man now. He is in his fifties for God’s sake. My wife has just died. I am grieving her and now this.”

Shortly after arriving in the UK he earned a series of convictions for petty theft, then graduated onto more serious offences, including the armed robbery of a post office.

Despite his convictions, he managed to sweep Janet Watson, 19, off her fee in 1975 after they met in a pub in Bermondsey. They married just weeks later after a whirlwind romance.

Watson said: “He was very charming and sophisticated. I thought I’d found my soulmate. But then the violence started.”

She said he was obsessed with cleanliness he would fly into a rage if the house was untidy.

She even claimed he attacked her when she was in labour with one of their children.

The couple had two sons together, Delroy Junior, now 34, and Michael, 32.

But he walked out on the family after one particularly vicious attack on Janet in 1977.

Her father Stanley Watson, 78, said on the exterior Grant was charming but behind closed doors he was a violent bully.

He said: “When we first met Delroy he gave a lot of charm but he had bad intentions. I thought he was a good fellow and he would make a good life for my daughter…but I didn’t know he was going to turn out like he did.

“Delroy was a bad man and he was a bad man to my daughter. One day she phoned me and said daddy come and help me Delroy’s beating me and he has ripped my knickers off.

“I ran round there and I found Janet crying and all her clothes were torn. He ran away and never came back. That was the last time we ever saw him.”

He added: “Janet is very upset about it and she cries all the time.

“She feels ashamed and dirty and wants to wash herself but it won’t come off.”

Grant moved from south London to Leicester where he began a relationship with Jane Finlay.

The couple had two children, but he continued his criminal career and was convicted of handling stolen goods at Leicester Magistrate’s court in 1991.

Police are also understood to have looked at possible connections with a series of unsolved sex attacks in the Leicester area in the late 1980s.

When his relationship with Finlay ended Grant moved back to south London, where he worked in a number of jobs including lorry driver, handyman and cab driver.

It was around this time he met Jennifer Edwards, a devoted Jehovah’s Witness.

They married at Lewisham registry office in November 1991 and friends from the Jehovah’s Witness community were delighted with Jennifer’s choice of husband.

Vernal Rochester their best man said he never had any idea Grant was anything other than a devoted husband.

“I was shocked when I heard because I knew him and Jennifer. As far as I knew he was a good man and cared for his wife. We are all in shock – everyone who knew him,” he said.

After moving into a three-storey property in a quiet mews in Brockley, south east London, Grant appeared to settle down to family life.

The couple had two sons, Jason and Louis, while Jennifer’s twin daughters Shevone and Natasha from her first marriage also lived at the property.

Delroy kept himself fit by weight lifting, boxing and working out on a punch bag he hung in the back garden.

His was popular with his neighbours and friends who are still struggling to accept that a seemingly warm and generous husband and father was responsible for such heinous crimes.

Osman Hassain, who lives nearby said: “I’ve known Delroy for 13-years, we used to go sea fishing together. To me he is a great man. He was devoted to Jennifer. He was a kind man. Before this happened everyone liked him. But you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.”

Another neigbour Amber Eray, 43, who lives on Brockley Mews said: He seemed like a nice guy. We always got on well and he was always playful with his kids and mine and whenever I was outside he was always very chatty. He was a charming man and was always very well presented and handsome – very pleasant.

“We couldn’t believe it when we heard about him – it was complete and utter shock.”

As Jennifer’s illness became more severe, Grant shouldered more of the burden of her care.

But while he was projecting this image of a devoted family man he was carrying out his horrific attacks on the elderly of south London.

Using the Vauxhall Zafira car, bought through the Government’s motability scheme, Grant would scour an area spanning a 150 mile radius, looking for victims.

Often staking them out for days he was careful to ensure they were living alone before he moved in to attack.

Many of those living nearby remember seeing him heading off in his car late at night and returning at dawn the next day.

But as he had held regular employment as a mini-cab driver no one thought it was anything out of the ordinary.

It was while working as a driver for Palace Cabs in Crystal Palace that Grant met Barbara Stocks, a bank worker in her 50s.

With Jennifer now severely disabled Grant and her began an intense relationship.

In the early stages of their courtship Grant would shower her with flowers and gifts and acted as the perfect gentleman.

Friends of hers recalled a charming and handsome man, who was always dressed very smartly in expensive clothes.

Bill Harrup, 84, said: “He was always a very natty dresser. I used to wonder sometimes where he got the money to buy all his clothes from, but now I suppose we know. He was stealing it from old ladies.”

As the relationship developed Grant began to spend more and more time with Stocks staying over at her two-bedroom home in Sydenham Hill, at least four nights a week.

The bolthole was only a 15 minute drive from his home address so he could be on hand when his wife needed him urgently.

Harrup said Stocks was completely devastated to learn of Grant’s crimes.

He said: “Barbara has taken emergency leave from work and has gone away because of the stress of all of this. They were together five years and he would arrive here very late at night and then disappear and come back early in the morning.

“We all said to Barbara it was a bit strange. I don’t think she had a clue what was going on because he was supposed to be caring for his wife so he was giving her that story.

“She is horrified by what she has heard because it is so nasty. She is very upset and ill with it.”

After his arrest in November 2009, Jennifer and her children were moved out of their home in Brockley Mews and it was boarded up.

Harley Burford, a spokesman for the local Kingdom Hall said Jennifer was being supported by her family and the local Jehovah’s Witness community.