A 26-year-old man has been jailed for more than eight years for raping an 11-year-old girl.

James Albert Bodenham, of St Luke’s Close, South Norwood, attacked the girl in Addiscombe after befriending her in March.

He was caught after a police officer who stopped him several weeks earlier recognised him from CCTV footage.

The victim's parents contacted police on March 1 when she was late returning from visiting a relative. 

She arrived home distressed soon after and told officers she had been sexually assaulted by a man she met earlier that day.

Detectives identified on CCTV footage a man matching the description given by the girl and circulated the image around local officers, one of whom recognised Bodenham as a cyclist he had stopped weeks earlier.

Bodenham was arrested on March 19 at this home, where police seized clothes matching those worn by the girl's attacker.

Following DNA sample analysis, he was charged with two counts of rape.

He pleaded guilty to one, with the other to lie on file, and was jailed for eight-and-a-half years at the Old Bailey yesterday. He was also given a sexual offences prevention order.

Detective Constable David Bendall, of the Metropolitan Police's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and 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.

"I hope that by bringing Bodenham to justice will in some way help them to move on from this terrible ordeal.”