Shoplifter, 19, who Stole £15K worth of goods across Britain is freed from jail

Madalina Horvath travelled to Britain in 2015 when she was just 16 so she could steal more than £15,000 worth of consumer goods from stores in a spree that hit cities including Cambridge and Manchester.

The teenager was first arrested in Kent, granted bail and told to attend court – only to disappear and go on another thieving expedition.

She was rearrested in November last year with accomplices at the Trafford Centre mall after the group stole thousands of pounds worth of items from John Lewis.

The 19-year-old was jailed up for 14 months after she admitted five charges of theft this month. But a judge has now ruled she can return to the village of Bata to save the taxpayer £8,000 in prison costs.

Earlier this month she was jailed, only to be brought back to court this week to have her sentence slashed.

Judge Bernard Lever allowed her to return home immediately when she presented him with a one-way ticket back to Romania.

Judge told, You had never been to prison before and you have already served the equivalent of a 10 month sentence – but what I’m going to do for you is only possible because you are young, have no previous convictions, and have expressed a view that you want immediately to go home to Romania.

‘I would not shorten a sentence in normal circumstances but it costs the tax payer of this country between £3000- £4000 a month to keep you in custody.

‘My decision to vary your sentence will save the tax payer between £6000 and £8000 and also has the highly desirable effect, after a significant period in custody, of getting you out of this country by your own wishes within 24 hours.