A man from Croydon has been jailed for raping an 11-year old girl he befriended.
26 year old James Bodenham, from South Norwood, was sentenced to eight years and six months imprisonment and was given sexual offenders prevention order (SOPO) on October 3, at the Central Criminal Court.
Officers from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse command carried out a full investigation into the case.
Bodenham was recognized on CCTV footage by a local police officer, PC Garcia, who had stopped him on his bike weeks before the offense.
The victim’s parents contacted the police on March 1, because the girl was late returning home from a visit to a relative. She arrived soon after the initial contact, but was in an anxious state. After sensitive questioning by officers, they discovered that a man she had met and befriended on the day had sexually assaulted her in the Addiscombe area.
Bodenham was arrested on March 19 at his home in St. Luke’s Close, where officers got hold of clothing that matched the girl’s description, and successfully compared DNA samples taken from the victim’s clothes.
On September 1, Bodenham pleaded guilty to one count of rape, with another one to lie on file.
Detective Constable David Bendall, from the Met’s Sexual Offences Exploitation & Child Abuse Command, 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.
He added: “I hope that by bringing Bodenham to justice will in some way help them to move on from this terrible ordeal.”