A woman who stole hundreds of pounds of cosmetics after being blackmailed into committing shoplifting has been jailed.
Romanian national Gina-Doina Ionescu was caught stealing items worth £666 from the Accrington Superdrug store.
The 40-year-old pleaded guilty at Blackburn Magistrates Court to theft and was jailed for 16 weeks.
Alex Mann, prosecuting, said the ‘high value shoplifting’ incident happened on Tuesday, December 22.
She told the court how the goods were recovered and she offered ‘no trouble’ when detained by store staff and later police.
Miss Mann said Ionescu was on bail when she stole the cosmetics and also has a criminal record in other countries, including a suspended sentence in Austria for theft.
Gareth Price, defending, said Ionescu was ‘pressured and influenced’ into carrying out the theft.
He told the court: “Immigration authorities are aware that she is here and consideration will be given to deportation.
“A decision can then be made in Austria as to whether that suspended sentence is activated or not.
“This offence is connected to her current personal circumstances.
“She has had a very difficult life so far. Her upbringing was in Romania and she was frequently subjected to violence within the family.
“She came to this country a little while ago and gained cash in hand work in a car wash working long hours for low pay and she was unable to support herself.
“She returned to Romania briefly and then came back to the country earlier in 2015. She then suffered a significant bout of ill-health and was in hospital for five weeks recovering from septicaemia.
“At that particularly low state she was introduced to a gentleman online who made all sorts of promises of how he could help her with things like accommodation, a job and a national insurance number.
“But the consequences of all those offers meant she had to do shoplifting.
“She involved herself in this offence, not through any particular choice, but under pressure and influence of this particular gentleman.
“She wasn’t going to profit herself from the enterprise.”
Magistrates said they had ‘no alternative’ but to jail Ionescu, of Park Hill Road, Dudley, due to her ‘persistent offending’.