ROMANIAN shoplifter Marie Barbieru claimed she had come to see the sights of Huntingdon when she was caught stealing goods worth more than £200 from Sainsbury s. The 25-year-old told Huntingdon Magistrates Court that she had taken the bus to visit Hu

ROMANIAN shoplifter Marie Barbieru claimed she had come "to see the sights of Huntingdon" when she was caught stealing goods worth more than £200 from Sainsbury's.

The 25-year-old told Huntingdon Magistrates' Court that she had taken the bus to visit Huntingdon from her house in Waltham Forest, London, but had met two Romanian men who persuaded her to help them shoplift.

CCTV footage from December 1 showed the men filling two bags with seven bottles of whisky, at least 10 packs of electric toothbrush heads and various meat and fish products totalling £208.50, before giving the bags to Barbieru, who carried them out of the store.

Prosecutor Sylvia Cundell added: "It is noteworthy that all the items came within a few distinct categories - it is quite clear that these were all items that were stolen for resale."

After being arrested Barbieru told police in interview that the men had offered to split the profits from the stolen goods with her.

Peter Vialls, mitigating, said Barbieru had come to the UK as a tourist in early November and planned to return by mid-December. He added that Barbieru, who received a formal caution in November for the offence of going equipped for theft, had made the journey to Huntingdon because she had heard of the town's famous sights.

Mr Vialls said: "She was interested to see the town, and met the two men in Huntingdon by chance. She was acting at their direction and she was clearly being used as the mule or the dupe: it is a classic situation of a young woman being used by experienced criminals."

Magistrates told Barbieru they did not find her reason for coming to Huntingdon credible, and gave her an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered her to pay £85 costs.