A COUPLE decided to steal perfume and aftershave worth £453 after discovering they couldn’t afford them, a court heard.

Robert Stroie, 25, said he and Christina Lautarescu, 23, had taken a fancy to the fragrances while looking around the Debenham’s store at the Coliseum Shopping Park in Ellesmere Port on September 29.

“We couldn’t afford them and she said ‘maybe we should just take them?’,” Stroie told Chester magistrates, defending himself.

Rob Youds, prosecuting, said the Romanian couple had been in the UK for a week looking for work when the offences were committed.

The pair were caught on CCTV taking the items and were arrested after police arrived at the department store.

They both made full admissions in interview and pleaded guilty to theft at the first opportunity.

“They said they were stealing the items for their own use,” Mr Youds said.

The defendants, who live at Chester Road, Oakenholt, Flintshire, were each fined £200 and must each pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge, which goes into a national pot to support victims of crime.

They did not have to pay compensation as the fragrances were recovered and fit for resale.