Opemipo Jaji guilty of raping girl, 11, in London park

Opemipo Jaji, 18, denied any involvement in the assault throughout the trial

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A man has been convicted of raping an 11-year-old girl in north London.

Opemipo Jaji, 18, of Edmonton, had denied dragging the girl into Jubilee Park, Enfield, before attacking her in November.

The Old Bailey heard the girl was raped repeatedly over three hours and traces of her blood were found on his bag and trainers.

Sentencing is due to take place on 7 June. Mr Justice Singh told the court that a life sentence was an option.

'Kill you'

The jury was told 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, started following her so, feeling threatened, she 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.

Analysis

Opemipo Jaji was a "time-bomb ready to go off" - the words Det Ch Insp Adam Lowe used.

The question for the probation and prison authorities is what work went on to defuse the danger Jaji posed after he was jailed for sexual assault and whether he was adequately supervised as part of his community sentence for downloading indecent images of children.

Police don't believe Jaji attended any sexual offending treatment programmes, though it's thought discussions about this took place shortly before the rape.

The Ministry of Justice reviews will also address whether Jaji should have been officially registered as a sex offender after the sexual assault conviction.

If he had been, police would have been able to conduct home visits - they may have discovered earlier the articles and pictures in his bedroom suggesting he had a sexual interest in pre-pubescent girls.

After the attack, the girl told police, she tried to escape twice but Jaji threatened to stab her, saying "I am this close to killing you".

Sarah Maclaren, from the Crown Prosecution Service, described the rape as a "vicious and horrific attack".

"I would like to thank the 11-year-old victim and her family for their enormous strength and courage in supporting this prosecution," she said.

An additional count of rape and one of attempted rape was requested to lie on his file.

Throughout the case Jaji denied his involvement in the assault.

But during the trial the jury was also told that he had pleaded guilty to previously sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 2011.

He had followed the girl from a bus stop and took her to a housing estate where he threatened her, stuffed a school tie in her mouth and sexually assaulted her.

Jaji was sentenced to a 10-month detention and training order but was not registered as a sex offender.

In May 2012, he appeared before magistrates accused of having indecent images of children on his MP4 player after 600 images of girls were discovered on the device.

In September he pleaded guilty to an offence of making an indecent photograph of a child, and was given a community sentence.

'Brutal attack'

Following the conviction, Det Ch Insp Adam Lowe, said: "Jaji posed a great danger to young girls and, despite the great weight of evidence against him, refused to accept his guilt and forced the victim to give evidence in court.

Sarah Maclaren, of the CPS, said: "A dangerous sexual offender has now been brought to justice"

"This was a particularly brutal but unusual attack on an innocent 11-year-old schoolgirl who will, no doubt, continue to suffer the emotional scars of what happened to her for a very long time."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said there would now be two reviews of the handling of Jaji by the authorities.

The first will be a MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements) Case Review and will examine his all round supervision, including the time he was under the watch of the Youth Offending Team following his sexual assault conviction in February 2011.

The second investigation, known as a "Serious Further Offence" review, will look at the 11-week period he was under supervision after his conviction for possession of indecent images.

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