A TRAVEL agent created fake refunds to book herself a luxury holiday.

Holly Cull worked for Thomas Cook in Worthing and stole thousands of pounds.

The 30-year-old had racked up huge debt problems when she was living in Lewes.

Cull created false customer refunds, then paid for a £3,000 holiday.

Hove Crown Court was told she had only paid £100 towards her luxury trip.

Judge David Rennie accepted that Cull’s fraud was “out of character”, and warned her not to behave in such a “stupid” way again.

He ordered her to complete 200 hours of unpaid work in the community in the next 18 months after she admitted fraud by false representation.

Pierce Power, prosecuting, told the court the frauds began in March 2017 when Cull worked for Thomas Cook in Worthing.

Between March and August that year, she took £3,885 from the company, and also claimed a £3,323 holiday that she had only paid £100 towards.

Sarah Thorne, defending, said her client admitted her offence at the first opportunity at Brighton Magistrates’ Court last month, and asked for maximum credit off the sentence.

She said Cull has shown “genuine remorse” and had been suffering from a low mood at the time of the offences.

Cull is currently working to pay off her debts.

“Clearly booking a holiday didn’t help in this situation, she appreciates that was a very silly thing to do,” Ms Thorne said.

Ms Thorne said Cull has no previous convictions, but has now lost her good character which will affect her for the rest of her life.

Judge Rennie said: “This was wholly out of character. It was a really bad choice.

“You were feeling very low, but now you have lost your good name. That is a punishment in itself, as you are convicted of an offence of dishonesty recorded against you.

“I recognise you are working hard to pay off your debts before the end of this year.

“You will probably have to pay Thomas Cook, having taken their money. There must be a short custodial sentence, which will be suspended.

“Don’t be so stupid as to behave in this way again.”

The judge imposed a three-month suspended prison sentence.

Cull, of New Road East, Portsmouth, Hampshire, must complete unpaid work in the next 18 months.