A TRAVELLING criminal defrauded and stole from two Boots stores in York twice each, the city’s crown court heard.

Amanda Thomas, 57, travelled to York on two occasions and each time she visited the chemist’s branches in Coney Street and Monks Cross, said Rob Galley.

In each store on each visit, she used a fake receipt to claim a refund and while waiting for staff to handle her refund, stole cosmetics.

She was arrested in Warwickshire a week after her second visit.

She was in a car which had a stack of 86 fake receipts purporting to be from Boots in Edinburgh, Solihull and Bridgend, Wales. She said they belonged to the man with her.

Thomas, of Avenell Road, Islington, pleaded guilty to four charges of theft and four of fraud committed on July 13, 2017, and September 18, 2017.

The prosecution could give no explanation for the delay in bringing the case to court.

“There has been an unacceptable delay between 2017 and now, two and a half years,” said Judge Simon Hickey.

He suspended a 10-month prison sentence for two years on condition Thomas does 30 days’ rehabilitative activities.

He also banned her from the Coney Street and Monks Cross stores for two years.

Defence barrister Ayesha Smart, representing Thomas, said: “She was escorted from location to location by her partner and her partner provided her with the receipts.

"She is disgusted by her behaviour.”

Thomas claimed she had been threatened by the partner.

She had used alcohol to deal with her problems, but no longer did so.

She had complex needs and was getting help from a London women’s project, the court heard.

Although she had not had a formal diagnosis, Thomas believed she was schizophrenic with bi-polar disorder and a borderline personality disorder, the court was told.

Mr Galley said Thomas stole cosmetics worth between £150 and £200 each time she visited each shop.

On the second visit she changed her appearance before going into the Monks Cross store.