A WOMAN caught shoplifting blamed the offence on the delay in her receiving Universal Credit.

Blackburn magistrates heard Jurgita Apanaviciute was detained by a police officer shortly after leaving TK Maxx in the town on February 12 but her male companion was not stopped.

Apanaviciute, 37, of Swift Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to theft of cosmetics worth £130.

She was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £21 victim surcharge.

An accusation that she stole a beige and cream River Island handbag was withdrawn.

Gareth Price, defending, said his client, from Lithuania, had been in the UK for 10 years and had worked for most of that time.

“She recently lost her job and was struggling financially while she was waiting for her claim for Universal Credit to be processed,” said Mr Price.

“She picked up these items, which she knew she would be able to sell, to raise some money to see her through.”