A paedophile who raped a five-year-old girl he was trusted to look after in Borehamwood has been put behind bars.

Jamie Alejandro Garcia Perez, 24, carried out the abuse when the young child had been left in his care on May 15 last year, St Albans Crown Court heard.

When the offences first came to light, Perez was questioned and initially told detectives he’d had an innocent playfight with the girl.

However, he later pleaded guilty to oral rape, attempted oral rape and sexual activity with a child.

Perez, from Borehamwood, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday, July 27, for sentencing and was given eight and a half years in prison.

In addition to his custodial sentence, Judge Caroline Wigin ordered that Perez must now register as a sexual offender and abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for life.

DC Jean-Pascal Beecroft, from the Constabulary’s Joint Child Protection Investigation Team, was the officer in the case.

He said: “Perez had been trusted by the victim’s mother to look after the young girl and instead he took it as an opportunity to sexually abuse her.

“His repugnant actions caused the victim immense harm, leaving her feeling confused. Her mother has also suffered after discovering what Perez had done to her daughter, and she had to endure a police investigation and resulting court case, which has been hugely distressing.

“I hope the sentence passed down to Perez provides a small amount of comfort to the victim and her family. They have shown great strength and dignity throughout the investigation and now the court case has concluded, I hope they are able to move forward.

“Perez is clearly a danger to young children but now he has been jailed, he can no longer harm anyone else.”

During the sentencing Judge Wigin commended DC Beecroft, saying he was “consistent, dedicated and sensitive” in what was a “complex investigation”.

DC Beecroft added: “I’m very grateful for the commendation but it was very much a team effort, as I received advice and support from both more experienced colleagues and partner agencies. I am pleased we have secured a result for the victim and her family, who remain in our thoughts.”