A convicted fraudster who concocted a false CV to get a high-paid job at a Cumbria regeneration firm has had his jail term slashed by judges.

James Alexander Hayden Cox, 53, also submitted faked references to land a £65,000-a-year role at Britain's Energy Coast (BEC) in 2015.

He then forged a signature to pocket more than £40,000 of the company's cash in order to buy himself a Jaguar.

Cox was of no fixed address when he was caught out, but was found living in a budget hotel in Weston-super-Mare.

He admitted two frauds and two counts of transferring criminal property and was jailed for six years at Carlisle Crown Court in May last year.

But he appealed and the "excessive" sentence has been slashed to four years and 10 months by top judges in London.

Mrs Justice McGowan, sitting at the Court of Appeal with Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Coulson, said six years was "too long".

The court heard Cox already had an "appalling" record for fraud and had served substantial prison sentences for his crimes.

He obtained the job with Whitehaven-based BEC with the false CV and references, claiming to have worked for Age Concern.

Within months, he had forged signatures to transfer £40,687 of the company's money, which he then laundered by buying and selling the Jaguar.

"It had a significant degree of planning, as is clear from the timing of these offences," said the judge.

"The purpose of obtaining this employment was not simply to obtain the salary, but also to put him in a position where he could behave fraudulently."

However, despite Cox's long record of committing fraud offences, the judge said the total sentence would be reduced.

"We accept the force in the submission that the sentence imposed was too long," she said.

Cox's crimes were picked up during "forensic" audit at BEC.