London

Opemipo Jaji jailed for raping girl, 11, in Enfield park

  • 7 June 2013
  • From the section London
Media captionDanny Shaw reports from the Old Bailey: "Jaji had been planning to rape a girl for two months"

A man has been jailed for life, and ordered to serve a minimum of eight years, for raping an 11-year-old girl.

Opemipo Jaji, 18, of Edmonton, denied attacking the girl in Jubilee Park, Enfield, north London in November.

The Old Bailey jury was told the girl was attacked on her way home from school after she got off a bus.

Jaji has convictions for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl a year before the rape and for making indecent images of children.

'Apparent remorse'

During sentencing, Mr Justice Singh said Jaji was "manipulative and a liar".

He said he had given careful consideration to whether he could impose a lesser sentence than life, for example a determinate sentence combined with an extended term.

"However, in all the circumstances of this case, I do not believe that the public would be adequately protected from you if you were the subject of any sentence other than a life sentence," he said.

Image caption CCTV footage showed Opemipo Jaji board the bus before he went on to attack the girl

Speaking outside the court, BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said it was only after Jaji was found guilty in April that he had shown some level of remorse.

But the judge said: "I approach the degree of your apparent remorse with some caution.

"I had the opportunity to observe you when you gave evidence at your trial. It is clear to me that you are well capable of lying and of manipulating others around you to suit your own interests."

'Emotional scars'

The girl was attacked on her way home from school after she got off a bus in Enfield.

Jaji, who had also been on the bus after he had visited his probation, started following her.

The girl, feeling threatened, crossed the road three times before starting to run in an attempt to get away.

But the teenager grabbed her and took her to a secluded part of the park where he forced a glove into her mouth before raping her during a three-hour attack.

During the trial, the girl gave evidence via videolink.

Mr Justice Singh told Jaji he had "left her with terrible emotional scars".

"One can only hope that, with the courage that she has already shown in giving evidence at this trial, and with the support of her family and friends, she can begin the process of recovery."

Jaji had previously had an 18-month supervision order six months before for making indecent images of children.

A year earlier than that, he had sexually assaulted and robbed a 12-year-old schoolgirl on a housing estate.

Later, he was given a 10-month detention and training order which he went on to breach.

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