A payroll worker has been jailed for more than three years after ripping off her employer Carnival UK of up to £200,000.

The Daily Echo reports that Jacqueline Bowles had conned her way into the job by lying about her background and claiming on her application form that she was of good character.

However she had a series of convictions including theft as an employee.

The 60-year-old’s role as a payroll officer with P&O Cruises and Cunard was to help administrate staff wages. Within four months she was changing details of staff after they left their employment with the cruise company, so she could create false bank accounts into which their national wages were paid. This amounted to about £78,000.

The court heard Bowles had got away with fraud from February 2007 until April 2012, and she had received more than £100,000 in wages during that time frame.

She also took a payment of more than £7,000 after being made redundant.

Bowles, of Totton, admitted 15 charges of fraud and was jailed for 38 months.

In mitigation, her lawyer Chris Gaiger said: “She admitted the offences in her interview and was very candid with the police, expressing remorse and regret.”

A P&O Cruises spokesman said: “The fraud was detected due to the diligence of the current team and following a thorough internal investigation we have put in place various additional safeguards to prevent any further breaches of this kind.”