Knicker nicker in court

A ROMANIAN woman who stole almost £200 worth of underwear from ‘Topshop’ has been given a three months jail sentence suspended for 18 months.

Lordana Sardaru (36), of Montague Avenue in Ballymena, was caught in Coleraine with what a prosecutor said was 38 pairs of “knickers” worth £198 still with hangers intact in a shopping trolley.

A defence barrister told Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday the defendant had previously lived in England and Wales and came to Northern Ireland last August along with her husband and children.

The defendant is a mother of eight and six of her children aged three to 15 live with her and go to school in Ballymena and two of her children aged 17 and 18 live in Romania.

The barrister said the defendant came to the UK to work and to get a “better education” for their children.

She had previously worked a night shift in a bakery and her husband is unemployed but hopes to get a job with Moy Park, the defence lawyer said.

The defendant pleaded guilty to one charge of theft relating to January 10 this year.

On the day in question she had gone with two of her daughters with a view to purchasing underwear but after losing her money, the defendant did not want to “let her daughters down” and 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 in England and Wales with offences in Barnsley, Birmingham, Manchester and the Merthyr Tydfil area.

He said it was not the case of someone being “caught short” without money but the defendant had a “very significant record for dishonesty”.

Had it not been for the record, the judge said he would have fined the defendant for the case before him.

The judge said the record showed the defendant had committed offences in northern England, the English Midlands and the Welsh Valleys and now Northern Ireland.

He added: “It seems the only part of the United Kingdom you have not offended in is Scotland”.

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