June 2013

Eight years minimum for dangerous teenage paedophile who raped 11-year-old girl in a park while on probation

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  • Opemipo Jaji, 18, pounced on girl moments after seeing probation officer

  • Stuffed glove in her mouth and threatened to stab her if she told anyone

  • Judge says he carried out ‘vicious attack on lonely and vulnerable victim’

  • Had been given supervision order for making indecent images of children

  • He had also sexually assaulted a 12-year-old schoolgirl a year before rape

A dangerous teenage paedophile was jailed for a minimum of eight years today for raping an 11-year-old girl while he was on probation.

Opemipo Jaji, 18, from Edmonton, north London, had just left his probation officer when he spotted the child going home from school on a bus before following her and dragging her into a park to subject her to a three-hour rape ordeal.

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, 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.

The judge told Jaji that the eight-year 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 added.

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

A year earlier, 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.

He was found guilty of rape following a trial at the Old Bailey in April after he had denied raping the girl in Jubilee Park, Enfield, north London, in November, last year.

The child gave evidence against him on videolink during the trial.

The judge 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.’

The girl suffered injuries which meant she had to go to hospital where she had to be examined under anaesthetic and needed stitches.

‘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.’

The judge said that until recently Jaji had shown no remorse for the terrible offence he had committed. ‘Since your conviction you now accept that you did commit this offence.’ 

A psychiatric report stated that he had ‘a small insight’ into his offence ‘but this does provide a platform for you to work within a sexual offenders treatment programme’.

The judge added: ‘However, 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.’

Jaji was ‘an intelligent young man who had potential’.

But the judge added: ‘It is also clear that you have an unhealthy interest in little girls.’

He had told both a probation officer and a psychiatrist that he ‘had been planning to rape a girl for about two months before the offence, although the offence itself was committed on impulse’.

It was not disputed by Jaji’s counsel that he was dangerous, the judge added.

Scotland Yard said in a statement that forensic samples found on Jaji’s trainers, white bag strap and underwear all directly linked him to the victim. His fingerprints were also found on the victim’s Oyster card holder.

Cell site analysis of his mobile phone also placed him in the vicinity of the park at the time of the attack.

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‘An unhealthy interest in little girls’: CCTV shows Jaji boarding the bus where he spotted his victim

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The paedophile, carrying a white bag, walks to a seat: He told authorities he had been planning to rape a youngster

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Lowe, who led the investigation, 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.

‘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. I would like to take this opportunity to praise the bravery of the victim and her family.’

Mr Lowe also told reporters at the court: ‘His offending escalation and lack of victim empathy is a clear indication of his dangerousness.’

The risk he posed had been registered by the police and its partners.

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Evil intent: Jaji walks towards the bus’s exit, following his victim to where he would rape her

Officers raised their concerns with a multi-agency public protection forum or Mappa which planned imminently to apply for an order which would establish some control over the risk he posed, but unfortunately Jaji committed this offence before this could happen.

Mr Lowe said a case review was going on into what happened.

‘My organisation has done more than its statutory obligations,’ he said.

A Probation Service spokeswoman said: ‘Our deepest sympathies are with the victim and their family following this horrific crime.

‘A Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (Mappa) Serious Case Review into what happened in this case has been launched. It would be inappropriate to comment further until this is completed.’

April 2013

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

A teenager facing a life sentence today for raping an 11-year-old girl as she made her way home from school had a ‘sexual interest in very young white girls’ and had attacked another before, it can be revealed today.

Opemipo Jaji, 18, subjected his most recent victim to a three-hour ordeal and threatened to stab her after she tried to run away.

He was found guilty of rape at the Old Bailey after the brave youngster gave evidence against him.

Throughout his trial, the judge Mr Justice Singh had directed that the jury should not be told of Jaji’s obsession with young white girls, nor the race of a girl he had attacked 21 months earlier.

In February 2011, he had attacked the 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 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.

A year later he was found in possession of indecent images of children

Jaji, of Edmonton, north London, had denied the attack on the 11-year-old despite traces of the girl’s blood being found on his clothes.

The schoolgirl was dragged into Jubilee Park, Enfield, north London, by Jaji in November.

He had spotted her in her school uniform as she joked and laughed with a friend on a bus. He followed her as she made her way home and attacked her in the dark park.

One of the girl’s gloves was stuffed in her mouth and the slightly built child was terrified during the attack as she was stripped.

She ran home after she was allowed to dress. Her parents were distraught when she turned up dirty and dishevelled, the court heard.

They had called police when she failed to arrive home by 5.30pm.

The child was taken to hospital and underwent an operation for an injury.

She said: “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.

“When I was on the floor, he said he would film me and send it into my school.

“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”.

Rosina Cottage QC, prosecuting, said: “Jaji is interested in little girls and sexual acts with little girls.”

Jaji was arrested a few days later after CCTV was viewed and his bedroom was searched.

A book was found about a little girl being sexually assaulted, along with ads for child care vacancies and a picture of a girl in Australia.

There was also an article about missing April Jones, “the little girl who was taken”, said Miss Cottage.

Jaji was remanded in custody for reports, to be sentenced in June.

Police believe he was a dangerous paedophile whose offending was escalating.

In April last year, he was fined £15 for failing to comply with the 10-month detention and training order and a month later he was given a youth supervision order for 18 months for making indecent pictures of young girls.

Jaji was training to be a chef in November and had just left his probation officer when he got on the same bus as the schoolgirl he raped.

Sarah Maclaren of the Crown Prosecution Service said outside court: “This was a vicious and horrific attack on a young victim.”

“As a result of this conviction a dangerous sexual offender has now been brought to justice.

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

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Lowe of the Met’s Sapphire command, 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.

“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.

“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the bravery of the victim and her family.”