A woman who stole almost £200 worth of underwear from Topshop has been given a three month jail sentence suspended for 18 months.
Lordana Sardaru (36), of Montague Avenue in Ballymena, was caught in Coleraine with what a prosecutor said were 38 pairs of "knickers" worth £198 in a shopping trolley.
A defence barrister told Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday the defendant, who comes from Romania, had previously lived in England and Wales and came to Northern Ireland last August along with her husband and the six younger of her eight children.
The barrister said the defendant came to the UK to work and to get a "better education" for their children.
Sardaru pleaded guilty to one charge of theft on January 10 this year. On the day in question she had gone with two of her daughters to buy underwear but after losing her money, resorted to theft, it was claimed. The goods were recovered but it was not known if they were fit for re-sale.
District Judge Peter King noted the defendant had a previous record, having committed offences in northern England, the English Midlands and the Welsh Valleys and now Northern Ireland. He said it was not the case of someone being "caught short" without money, saying the defendant had a "very significant record for dishonesty".
He added: "It seems the only part of the United Kingdom you have not offended in is Scotland".