A woman who stole nearly £2,000 worth of laundry products from a Belfast retailer has been spared immediate custody - because she is heavily pregnant.
Casiana Mohacsi (20) instead received a suspended sentence for carrying out three separate thefts this month on a B&M Bargains store in the city.
At Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the Romanian national admitted targeting the shop on July 6, July 9 and July 23.
Laundry products valued at a total of £1,700 were taken during the raids.
Defence counsel Conn O'Neill disclosed that Mohacsi, with an address at Tates Avenue in the city, is currently heavily pregnant.
He also suggested the thefts may not have been carried out by his client alone.
"There were others involved, perhaps with more ability," the barrister said.
Imposing a four-month sentence, suspended for two years, Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne confirmed Mohacsi's current condition was a factor.
He said: "Were it not for the fact that she is expecting a child, she would be going straight to prison."
However, Mr Browne warned she will be sent to jail for any further offending.
He rejected a prosecution request to have Mohacsi pay compensation for the stolen laundry, describing it as a "futile exercise".