Paul Hopes, left, admitted 14 counts of theft and four of money laundering – but spent none of his ill-gotten gains on wife Gillian, right
Yet according to the 37-year-old, she was able to charge an astonishing £20,000 a week for her sexual services.
She made the claim to a judge yesterday as she tried desperately to hang on to hundreds of thousands of pounds given to her by a client who had stolen the money.
However, after looking at her in court, Judge Stephen John took a different view on her worth – and ruled that while £2,000 might be a fair price for seven days of sex, £20,000 was completely over the top.
The figure is important because it has been argued that if the cash she was given was for payment for services, she could not be compelled to give it back. If, however, it was a gift, she could.
Self-confessed prostitute Miss Dunbar received £1.75million from Paul Hopes, an accounts manager for the Toys R Us shop chain. In just 18 months he stole £3.7million from the toy firm, and was only caught when neighbours of Miss Dunbar alerted police to her lavish lifestyle, fearing she was a drug dealer.
Judge John 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, who also received a £132,000 Bentley from Hopes, said: ‘It wasn’t me that was putting the worth on that. It was Mr Hopes paying what he thought it was worth.’
Married father-of-two Hopes, 60, was on a salary of £56,000 a year when he suddenly developed an unquenchable thirst for vice and began his massive fraud.
He spent little on his oblivious wife Gillian, or their home in Woodley, Berkshire, but used the cash to pay for sex and gifts for Miss Dunbar and four other prostitutes. On occasions he enjoyed £800-a-time cocaine binges while visiting luxury hotels and restaurants with them.
Hopes was duly divorced by his wife, who retained the £400,000 family home. He was jailed for seven years in 2009, and warned he could stay in prison for an extra decade if he failed to repay the stolen money.
At Reading Crown Court, Judge John ruled that the sums given to Dunbar were gifts rather than payment for services and she would have to hand the loot back. That is, the money she has left after spending £750,000 of it on a £300,000 house and cars.
Miss Dunbar, a married mother of two, of Didcot, Oxfordshire, was earning barely £10,000 a year at a bookmakers when she turned to earning extra money by working at the Gemini massage parlour in Reading in 2005.
On her very first day she met Hopes. He swiftly arranged to pay her a weekly fee of £500 for her services, before persuading her to leave the business and see him exclusively, for a weekly fee of £1,000. That continued with him also giving her additional payments and making extravagant gestures.
And when she told him ‘Every girl wants a Bentley’, he promptly bought her one – a Continental Flying Spur.
Miss Dunbar told the court: ‘Everything I received was a payment for my escort services and for him to see me exclusively.’ She was not his lover, she went on, and was simply providing sexual services in return for payment.
Miss Dunbar said: ‘He said I was his mistress, which I was, but in a specific meaning – he would call me his mistress if he wanted me to whip him and treat him quite badly.’
Judge John ruled the receivers appointed to chase the missing cash could seize a £25,000 Lexus GS300 Miss Dunbar bought for her father, a £30,000 Toyota Landcruiser she bought for her husband Martin Iheanacho, and her own runabout, a £42,000 Lexus RS400h 4×4 car.
The enforcement team will also go after properties she bought, both in the UK and a £60,000 plot of land in her husband’s native Nigeria.
Approached at her house, Miss Dunbar said: ‘I’m in shock,’ before slamming the door.
Another hearing into £600,000 Hopes handed over to prostitute Tanya Wieck is due in coming weeks.