AN ASYLUM-SEEKER caught stealing at Tesco claimed it was the Romanian way of shopping to stuff things under her clothes - and walk out without paying.
She had a long bag made from an under-slip sewn across the bottom and tied around her waist at the top, with a big hole cut in front to put the groceries through.
And it was all hidden under a long, pleated skirt made from an old curtain, a court heard.
Store detectives stopped 18-year-old Sandu Florenta as she staggered out under her load of unpaid-for shopping. In her homemade outfit she had:
Four packs of frozen lamb,
Three fresh chickens,
Three packets of stock cubes,
A packet of burgers,
A pack of garlic,
A pack of peppers,
Two packs of men's socks and underwear,
Nearly a kilo of oranges,
Over a kilo of apples,
Total cost: £65.25
Her husband paid for the shopping in the trolley - crisps, toilet rolls and potatoes.
Celia Johnstone, prosecuting, read the list and donned the shopping outfit to demonstrate it in court at Wrexham.
She said a security manager saw the pair take a pair of socks and kept tabs on them with closed circuit cameras as they walked down the aisles.
When stopped outside the door she said: 'It's no problem. I was going to pay later.'
'This outfit was purpose-made for shoplifting,' said Ms Johnstone. 'She had a slit in the outer skirt to push things through to the bag worn under it like an apron.
'When interviewed she explained to police that she was a Romanian and in her home country all women shop this way. She said she wore a bag like this, sometimes under her clothes, sometimes over the top.'
Cath Jagger, defending, said the teenage mum from Berwyn Way, Wrexham, lived with her asylum- seeker husband, two children and a mother-in-law on state benefits of £210 a week.
She has been living in Britain for 14 months, and her husband can't work because of a lack of permits, while they wait to hear if they can stay.
Florenta admitted shoplifting and the court heard she had three previous cautions and two convictions for shoplifting in the past year.
She was ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid community work, pay £65 compensation and £100 costs. The court also ordered that the purpose- made theft kit should be destroyed.
Florenta also admitted the theft was a breach of a conditional discharge from Chester Magistrates Court in June for a previous shoplifting offence.