Former Tui manager Karen Doyle was a “workaholic” and suffered “high stress levels” which had an affect on her actions, a court has heard.

Doyle, who was Marella Cruises general manager of supplier management and ancillary revenue, was handed a two-year suspended sentence today at Luton Crown Court after pleading guilty to stealing £63,000 worth of gift vouchers from the company.

She issued herself gift and card vouchers over a period of seven years and used them to buy holidays including cruises for herself and her family.

The court heard how Doyle was well-liked in the travel industry and had received accolades in recognition of her work.

However, she also suffered low self-esteem and suffered with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Defence barrister Nicola Howard said: “This lady was a workaholic member of staff for a number of years and her entire life revolved around her job. She had achieved a great deal and received a number of accolades in the industry and was well-liked and respected.

“Long working hours and very high stress levels had an effect on her and those around her.”

She said despite a £76,000 annual salary, Doyle racked up £40,000 worth of credit cards debts which she had kept from her family.

Howard said Doyle had always been someone who helped in her local community with charitable events, and references submitted by colleagues held her in “high esteem”.

“Like so many confident, successful people who seem to be very much in control, she wasn’t. She suffered with low self-esteem and needed to be liked. She found it difficult to say no.”

“The holidays taken were for friends, family, a lot were not for herself. Some were for promotional events and charity.

“She describes in her own words feeling disgusted not only at what she has done but what she is. She can’t believe she has behaved in this way for such a long time.”

Doyle, who was joined in court by members of her family, cried in the dock as her sentence was read out.

She has been ordered to pay back £59,000 to Tui and to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work. She also has to wear an electronic tag and a curfew limiting her movements between 18:00 and 06:00.

MoreFormer Tui manager Karen Doyle handed two-year suspended sentence