A SHOP assistant had a bag of takings snatched in Redditch as she was on the way to the bank, Worcester Crown Court was told.

Zoe Mitchell gave police a description of her alleged assailant in St Stephen's churchyard but it turned out to be false, said prosecutor Tim Sapwell.

It transpired she had been in league with the thief, an old school friend, and had exchanged text messages to give her route to the bank.

Mitchell, aged 26, of Fownhope Close, Redditch, who pleaded guilty to the theft of £2,504 and perverting the course of justice, was jailed for 12 months.

Mr Sapwell said police became suspicious when Mitchell, who worked at Greggs in the Kingfisher centre, walked an unusual route to the NatWest bank.

She confessed after her mobile phone was examined and found to contain text messages with a man she had met on Facebook.

Trevor Meegan, defending, said she had taken a brave step to co-operate with the police. She had played a minor part in the scam and her accomplice had yet to be dealt with. She had gained nothing out of the enterprise.

Recorder Rachel Brand QC said it was a pity that Mitchell had not co-operated with the police at the very start or at least told the shop manager.