Lenuta Raducanu (26) joined her mother, her sister and her sister-in-law in the Vauxhall Vectra after stealing the cosmetics from the shop and sped off down New Carron Road.
Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court with an interpreter last Thursday, Romanian Raducanu pleaded guilty to the theft and dangerous driving offences she committed on October 18, 2019.
Nhabeela Ruhmatullah, procurator fiscal depute, said: “The witness saw the accused at the No7 face creams counter. A short time later she noticed the majority of the face creams were missing.
“She alerted management and security. The accused made her way down the middle aisle and set off alarms due to the basket she had in her hands.
"Security followed, and she got into a Vauxhall Vectra, driving off towards Grahams Road. The accused then drove in and out between vehicles after seen the police vehicle in front of her.
"She reached the roundabout and police blocked her vehicle. She tried to manoeuvre at speed to get away from police, almost striking their vehicle. Officers managed to stop her, open the driver’s door and remove the keys from the ignition and the accused from vehicle.”
There were four women in the vehicle – Raducanu, her mother, sister and sister-in-law. The cosmetics recovered had a total value of £2200.
The court heard Raducanu claimed she was regularly physically assaulted by her husband, who she had left to go and see her mum and sisters in Dagenham.
The family then decided to come up to Falkirk for a few days.
"Coming to exotic Falkirk,” observed Sheriff Derek Livingston.
Raducanu told police her husband had contacted her and warned her not to come home “empty handed”. She said he required her to bring money home with her and she panicked – hence the theft and the car chase.
Charged with the crime and released on bail, she returned to Dagenham and claimed she had every intention of returning to Falkirk.
However, she discovered she was pregnant and, because she did not want her ex husband to know about the baby, she “fled” to Romania.
Her baby now 10-months-old, Raducanu returned to the UK for the support of her family and she was arrested.
Sheriff Livingston did not appear to believe Raducanu’s version of events.
He said: “You came up here from Dagenham and stole a substantial amount of cosmetics from Boots the Chemist. I’m not satisfied there was any good reason for you to be here in Falkirk.
“Then instead of giving yourself up you drove in a particularly dangerous manner in the early afternoon, which could have easily led to serious injury or worse. I don’t accept your suggestion this was to do with your husband.
"You were with your family and I’m quite satisfied you had choices open to you. Then, having been let go and granted bail, you go and disappear for a year.”
Sheriff Livingston jailed Raducanu, 5 Albert Road, Dagenham, for eight months back dated to December 14 last year and banned her from driving for three years.