Two men launched ‘ringing the changes’ frauds at stores on the Broughton Shopping Park.

Staff at Marks and Spencer on the Broughton Shopping Park and at Aldi were asked to change £20 to £10 while small items were purchased.

They then changed their minds and during the confusion used sleight of hand techniques to take some of the money.

Prosecutor Sheyanne Lee told how staff and others nearby were distracted as it took place and when the money was returned notes had disappeared.

They got away with £200 at one store and £240 at another.

Defendant Sandu Rostas, 20, of Wright Road in Birmingham, admitted two frauds, one by distracting staff and another by aiding and abetting another man, and received a 60 day prison sentence suspended for 12 months at Flintshire Magistrates’ Court.

He was ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work with £85 costs and a £115 surcharge.

Magistrates said they were sophisticated offences by two men who had travelled to North Wales from Birmingham.

The other man had previously been dealt with and received a community order – but was ordered to pay the compensation in full.

Probation officer Tracey Flavell said Rostas denied travelling to North Wales to commit the offences.

It was his case that his partner rang him and he felt under pressure to provide finances he did not have available to him.

Fiona Larkin, defending, said Rostas was a man of good character and there should be parity in sentence between the two men.