A JUDGE asked a Didcot prostitute to justify how she could charge a client £20,000 a week.

Judge Stephen John quizzed the call girl over charges for sexual services she provided to a director of firm Toys R Us.

Dawn Dunbar, of Wessex Road, Didcot, told the judge although she realised her fees were 10-times the usual rate, they were for services rendered.

She made the claim on Tuesday at Reading Crown Court as she tried to hang on to hundreds of thousands of pounds given to her by Paul Hopes who had stolen the money.

If the money was for services, the 37-year-old could not be forced to give it back. If if was a gift, the court could make her hand it over.

Judge John calculated the weekly average she had received and said: “The amount is not £500 a week. It is not £1,000, or even £2,000 a week. It is £20,000 a week. How do you manage to evaluate your services – sex – at £20,000 a week?

“How do you justify that?”

Miss Dunbar replied: “It wasn’t me that was putting the worth on that. It was Mr Hopes paying what he thought it was worth.”

At a hearing in December 2009 Hopes, 59, was jailed for seven years and ordered to repay £3.7m he had stolen from Toys R Us.

Prosecutors argued successfully on Tuesday that most of the money given to Miss Dunbar was not earned by her and could thus be confiscated.

The judge ruled that receivers could chase the remaining cash and any assets obtained with the money, including a Toyota Landcruiser she bought for her husband Martin Iheanacho, and her own £42,000 Lexus 4X4.

The enforcement team will also go after properties she bought, including a £60,000 plot of land in her husband’s native Nigeria. A £132,000 Bentley Continental which Hopes bought Miss Dunbar has already been confiscated.

Prosecutors estimate Miss Dunbar spent £750,000 on houses, cars and holidays.

The court heard while supporting Miss Dunbar and four other prostitutes – processing stolen money through a special account – Hopes was not spending any of the money on himself or his wife Gillian.

She has since divorced him and been awarded the family home, in Woodley, near Reading.

She said she knew Hopes worked in finance for Toys R Us, but believed his story that he was very rich and that the money was from stocks and shares.

“From the beginning I have been asked where the money came from and I told the truth,” she said.

Judge John replied: “The fact that you have been up front with the police does not mean you get to keep the money.”