Two Bolton women walked free from court despite carrying out a shoplifting spree in Warrington.

Natasa Lucan and Lillian Preda helped themselves to items in Sainsbury’s and Asda worth more than £1,200.

They were caught on the second occasion however with hundreds of pounds worth of goods and hauled before Chester Magistrates’ Court.

But magistrates decided prison was not the best option, instead choosing to suspend the sentences of imprisonment.

The court heard how 21-year-old Lucan and 18-year-old Preda first targeted the stores on October 10.

Having entered Sainsbury’s on Church Street and Asda at Cockhedge Centre, they pilfered multiple items to the value of around £800.

The former, of Willows Lane in Bolton, and latter, of Blackledge Street in Bolton, returned to the town six days later.

They targeted the same stores and stole items to the value of £423.75, before being caught and charged with two counts each of theft from a shop.

Considering the case in court, magistrates remarked that the severity of the offences meant that the custodial threshold had been crossed.

They said that both defendants have a ‘flagrant disregard for people and their property’.

However, taking their guilty pleas entered at the start of the hearing into account, they said that they could draw back from making the jail sentence immediate.

They said this was due to a consideration that they are ‘realistic prospects for rehabilitation’ given the fact that they have no previous convictions.

The pair were both sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 12 months.

No order for court costs or a surcharge was imposed, with compensation prioritised instead.

Both were told they must pay compensation of £117.50 each to Sainsbury’s and Asda for the October 10 offences, but none for the October 16 thefts as the goods were recovered.

A third defendant, Dragos Hornia, pleaded not guilty to both offences during the same hearing.

The 28-year-old, of Glen Avenue in Bolton, will appear back before the same court in February to stand trial.

He will remain on conditional bail until then, with conditions not to enter any Sainsbury’s or Asda supermarket in Warrington.

Court documents state that a Romanian, Moldavian or Moldovan interpreter will be in attendance for his trial.