A man who was ‘extremely fortunate’ to be spared prison for having sex with an underage girl will get extra time to complete his unpaid work.

Jordon Brook, then 23, was given a two year suspended sentence last summer for having sex with the girl when she was in her mid-teens.

As part of the order, which the Court of Appeal upheld when government lawyers claimed it was unduly lenient, Cholsey man Brook was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.

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On Monday, 11 months after the suspended sentence was imposed, the probation service asked Judge Nigel Daly to extend the amount of time he would have to finish the unpaid work by a year.

The judge was told that Brook had completed ‘some hours’ but ‘due to the covid pandemic’ he was not able to begin his unpaid work until late last year. He was still waiting to start the ‘Horizon’ sex offender rehabilitation scheme.  

Judge Daly allowed the order to be extended until next summer. He told the probation officer in court: “As you are probably aware, Mr Brook received this sentence of two years imprisonment suspended for two years and those requirements including unpaid work.

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“He was extremely fortunate to receive such a sentence. In fact, the matter was referred by the Attorney General to the Court of Appeal to consider whether or not the sentence was excessively lenient. The Court of Appeal decided it wasn’t.

“I accept it is not his fault he has been unable to complete the unpaid work part of this order within the relevant period.

“It is not suggested he can’t complete the unpaid work and I am simply being asked to extend the operational period effectively by a year to the end of the suspended sentence, in other words to June 10, 2023.

“I think in the circumstances as it doesn’t seem to be his fault that he’s not done the work, I am prepared to extend the operational period to that date of June 10 so he is able to complete the sentence that I passed.”

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 Last summer, the court heard that Brook’s relationship with the girl several years younger than him continued in spite of police issuing him with a Child Abduction Warning Notice requiring him to have nothing more to do with her. He had twice previously been given similar notices banning him from contacting other earlier.

In a plea for mercy for her client, Kellie Enever said last year that in Brook’s mind ‘this was a relationship’ and he loved the girl.