A paedophile, who raped an 11 year-old girl he befriended the same day, has been locked-up for eight-and-a-half years.
James Albert Bodenham, 26, of St. Luke's Close, South Norwood attacked the young girl in Addiscombe when she was out visiting a relative.
He pleaded guilty to one count of rape when he appeared at the Old Bailey and was also given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
Bodenham was identified and arrested after he was recognised in CCTV footage by an officer from Croydon who happened to have stopped him a few weeks prior to the offence taking place.
Police were contacted by the girl’s parents on the afternoon of March 1 when she was late returning home after visiting a relative.
The girl returned home soon after, but was in a distressed state.
Following delicate enquiries carried out by officers, they managed to find out that she had been sexually assaulted by a man she had met and befriended only that day.
A full investigation was carried out by officers from the Metropolitan Police's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command and detectives identified CCTV footage from the area showing a man who matched the description given by the girl.
Images of the man were circulated to local officers in Croydon and a Croydon CID officer recognised him as Bodenham, as he had stopped him riding a push bike in the area a few weeks before.
Further enquiries were made and Bodenham was arrested by police on March 19 at his home address.
Officers also seized clothing that matched the description given to them by the victim.
Police also compared Bodenham’s DNA with samples taken from the victim’s clothing and he was charged later that day.
Detective Constable David Bendall who investigated the case said: “Bodenham targeted an extremely young and vulnerable girl, who will have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of her life.
“The victim and her family have shown tremendous strength and courage throughout the entire investigation.
“I hope that by bringing Bodenham to justice will in some way help them to move on from this terrible ordeal.”