A WOMAN was spared jail after she was caught begging in the town centre because she needed ‘money for a baby bed’, a court heard.

Silvie Hrdlikova, of Orford Lane, begged in the street on September 18 before being stopped by a policeman.

The 24-year-old, appeared at Halton Magistrates Court on Monday, after an earlier case was adjourned due to her need for an interpreter.

During the incident in September, the court heard how Hrdlikova, who is a Czech national, held up a sign which read 'please help me I need money for a baby bed'.

“I had financial difficulties at that time and I needed money for a baby bed – I am very sorry," said Hrdlikova, who represented herself.

"I didn’t know it was a criminal offence because I have seen many people doing it."

She received a conditional discharge for six months, while her court costs were waived. She admitted on charge of begging in a public place.