Manhunt Colin Sutton
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Manhunt: The Night Stalker: Who is DCI Colin Sutton and where is he now?

He helped track down several notorious criminals...

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Martin Clunes returns as DCI Colin Sutton in Manhunt series two, also called The Night Stalker.

The ITV drama is based on the personal diaries of the former Metropolitan Police murder detective.

The first Manhunt focused on finding the killer of Amelie Delagrange and the capture of ‘the Bus Stop Killer’ Levi Bellfield.

The second series of Manhunt is a four-parter about depraved rapist Delroy Grant.

DCI Sutton caught Delroy Grant, after he had raped and assaulted around 600 elderly people over a 17-year period in South London.

So who is the man behind Clunes’ character?

Manhunt The Night Stalker
Manhunt – The Night Stalker follows the investigation to catch Delroy Grant (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: Manhunt 2: When does Martin Clunes ITV drama begin and who’s in the cast?

Who is Manhunt’s Colin Sutton?

Colin Sutton’s father and grandfather were both policemen.

He followed in their footsteps when he joined the Metropolitan Police as a police constable in 1981 and worked in Wimbledon.

He rose quickly through the ranks.

Sutton’s first involvement in a murder inquiry came after he and a colleague attempted to rescue two people from a fire in Enfield.

Two people had died, an investigation was launched and he found himself on a murder squad.

He didn’t look back.

Manhunt series one – the Levi Bellfield case

DCI Sutton headed 37 murder investigations and solved 35 over nine years.

The first series of Manhunt centred around the murder of French student Amelie Delagrange, 22, who was found dead on Twickenham Common in 2004.

Colin Sutton linked the killing to that of Marsha McDonnell, 19, from Surrey, who had been murdered in February 2003.

Both girls had been struck over the head with a hammer.

Levi Bellfield was arrested and convicted of the two girls’ murders.

It was only afterwards that Colin Sutton linked Bellfield to the death of Milly Dowler, 13.

She was murdered on her way home from school in March 2002, but her body was only found six months later.

Bellfield eventually confessed to raping and torturing her before he strangled her the next day.

In 2011, the monster was given a whole life sentence for his brutal crimes.

Martin Clunes as DCI Colin Sutton
Manhunt – The Night Stalker stars Martin Clunes as DCI Colin Sutton (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: Manhunt: Martin Clunes to return as DCI Colin Sutton for new series of ITV drama

DCI Sutton’s Manhunt 2 ‘Night Stalker’ case

Manhunt: The Night Stalker is based on the police hunt for Britain’s most prolific rapist, Delroy Grant.

He was very polite – charming almost

His victims were between the ages of 68 and 93 and were often in poor physical or mental health.

The rapist broke into homes wearing a balaclava and gloves, smashing windows or removing glass panes.

He would switch off the electricity and rip out the phone lines, before carrying out horrific acts of violence.

Victims told how Manhunt monster Delroy Grant would talk to them in a whisper and even softly kiss them.

It wasn’t until 1998 that a dedicated unit was set up to catch him.

How did DCI Colin Sutton catch Delroy Grant?

In 2009, DCI Colin Sutton was drafted in after a series police bungles left Delroy Grant free to commit more crimes.

He was finally seen on camera in August 2009 after he had burgled an 88 year-old Polish man in Thornton Heath.

He used the victim’s cashcard at an ATM but entered the wrong PIN.

Two months later, he used the same ATM after the burglary of an elderly woman.

In October 2009, the MET flooded Shirley in south London, one of the Night Stalker’s favourite areas, with 70 undercover officers.

In the early hours of Sunday November 15, 2009, Grant was finally arrested as he committed another burglary.

Manhunt’s Colin Sutton told the East Anglian Times: “As individuals they couldn’t be more different.

“Levi Bellfield is just the most chilling, evil, self-centred, manipulative person I have ever met.

“Truly, truly self-absorbed and self-centred, and would never do anything unless it is for him.

“His friends and family who we spoke to said ‘we always knew Levi was a wrong ‘un. It was just a matter of time’.

“However, when we spoke to Delroy Grant’s friends and family they said: ‘Not Delroy. It can’t be Delroy. He’s the mainstay of the cricket team. He’s got a disabled wife he cares for.’

“He was very polite – charming almost.”

Martin Clunes as DCI Colin Sutton
DCI Colin Sutton helped capture Levi Bellfield and Delroy Grant (Credit: ITV1)

Manhunt: Colin Sutton’s other high profile cases

DCI Sutton was the senior officer at the scene following the death of MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams in August 2010.

Gareth’s body was found in a locked holdall in the bath of his flat in Pimlico in 2010.

This year, the Met police re-opened the investigation after some new leads came to light.

Manhunt’s Colin Sutton was also involved into the re-investigation into the deaths of four soldiers at Deepcut Barracks.

The deaths of the 17 to 20 year olds were explained as suicides, but their families disagreed.

His work led to a public enquiry which concluded the British Army had failed in its duty of care to the young trainees.

Manhunt: Where is Colin Sutton now?

DCI Colin Sutton retired in 2011, moved to mid-Suffolk and is a consultant to the media.

He made a documentary for Sky True Crime called The Real Manhunter and has hinted at a second.

And he’s also already seen Manhunt: The Night Stalker.

He said: “We’ve got four hours this time, four episodes this time, and it’s all on the Night Stalker case.

“In a way, I think it’s a better – obviously I’ve seen it – and I think it’s a better drama than the first one was, so I’m really hoping it goes well.”

Colin Sutton wrote two books about his most high-profile cases – Manhunt: The Night Stalker: How I brought serial predator Delroy Grant to justice.

Also, Manhunt: The true story behind the hit TV drama about Levi Bellfield and the murder of Milly Dowler.

Martin Clunes portrays Colin Sutton in both series of Manhunt on ITV1.

Manhunt: The Night Stalker starts on Monday September 20 2021 at 9pm on ITV1.

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