Opemipo Jaji - teenage paedophile who raped 11-year-old in north London park - jailed for a minimum of eight years

18-year-old was out on probation following similar attack

A teenage paedophile will spend a minimum eight years of a life sentence in prison for raping an 11-year-old girl in a north London park.

Opemipo Jaji, 18, from Edmonton, north London, attacked the girl in November while he was on probation.

He had just left his probation officer when he spotted the child going home from school on a bus. He followed her and dragged her into a Jubilee Park, Edmonton, before subjecting her to a three-hour rape ordeal. He also threatened to stab her after she tried to run away.

Mr Justice Singh at the Old Bailey told Jaji that he had given careful consideration to whether he could impose a lesser sentence than life, but "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 told Jaji that the minimum was not the actual term he would serve, but the minimum before he could be considered for release by the Parole Board.

"The Parole Board will only direct your release on licence if it is satisfied that you are no longer a danger to members of the public," he said.

The judge noted Jaji was "an intelligent young man who had potential,"  but that Jaji's own counsel didn't dispute that he was dangerous.

In April it was revealed that Jaji had a "sexual interest in very young white girls" and had attacked another before. Throughout the trial, the judge had directed that the jury should not be told of this.

In February 2011, he attacked a 12-year-old girl on a housing estate, stuffing her school tie into her mouth, before taking her mobile phone and sexually assaulting her. Jaji continued the attack despite an interruption from a member of the public. He was given a 10-month detention and training order in September 2011, serving five months in custody.

His latest victim had one of her gloves stuffed in her mouth during the ordeal. She ran home after Jaji allowed her to get dressed. She turned up at home dirty and dishevelled, the court heard, her parents having called police when she failed to arrive home by 5.30pm.

She was taken to hospital, where she had to be examined under anaesthetic and needed stitches.

Giving evidence, she told the court: "He kept saying, 'Stop moving or I will stab you'. I tried to run away but then he grabbed me when I got to the pavement of the park entrance.

"I kept on saying 'stop' because it was hurting me and he kept saying 'shut up' to me. He was just saying it every time I spoke.

"I was saying 'Get off me, get off me, stop'."

The girl said Jaji told her: "I am this close to killing you," and also threatened to film her and send copies to children at her school and to "everyone you love".

Summing up, Mr Justice Singh told Jaji: "You got off the bus at the same stop as her and you then followed her. You dragged her into Jubilee Park and subjected her to a horrific ordeal for the next three hours.

"Not only did you rape her at least twice. You stuffed one of her gloves in her mouth. You threatened her and said that you had a knife although you did not in fact produce one. You told her not to tell anyone about what had happened because you would stab her. Even the risk of being seen by a member of the public did not deter you from carrying on with your vicious attack on your lonely and vulnerable victim.

"When a passer-by walking his dog was nearby, you told her to curl up and keep quiet so that she would not be noticed.

"At one point you even told her that the incident was being filmed and that you would send the video to her school where people would laugh at her.

"Perhaps even worse, you have 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."

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