A GRADUATE has been jailed for 28 days for shoplifting after falling into a “desperate spiral”.

Mihaela Popu, aged 24, admitted stealing cosmetics worth £640 from Morrisons in Bolton on Thursday.

She also admitted going equipped for theft after lining her bag with foil.

Bolton Magistrates Court heard Popu, who is Romanian but lives in Birmingham, resorted to stealing after ending up in a desperate situation.

Anthony Shimmin, prosecuting, said: “This is a young lady who has degrees from Romania.

She lived with her mother in very reduced conditions.

“She speaks very good English and came here to obtain work . She has obtained no work.

“The deep spiral of her situation has led her to thieve.

“She went into Morrisons and she is desperate to get back to Romania as she knows there is no future here.

“If she could leave tomorrow she would. She has no benefits, no work.”

The court heard she has been surviving by staying with friends, and she was staying with friends in Bolton at the time of the incident.

She was said to have never been in trouble in Romania but had stolen from stores across the UK.

District Judge Jonathan Finestein, sentencing, said: “It may be you have problems but the real top and bottom is since you came to this country you have been shoplifting.

“You have been given chance after chance. There’s no alterative than a prison sentence.

You and others will have to learn that shoplifting will be treated in this way.”