Birmingham Benefits Street Woman 'Ran Open House'

A Birmingham woman and resident of TV's Benefits Street who denies being part of a drugs operation told police she ran an open house for people to come and go, a jury has heard.

Samora Roberts, known as Dee Roberts, told police in an interview: "Everyone comes to my house on day-to-day activities.''

Roberts is on trial at Birmingham Crown Court jointly accused with five others who lived on or near the road of conspiring to supply crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis in summer 2013.

Police interview transcripts were read out in court, with Roberts claiming cannabis found during a house search was for her own use, as were sets of scales which she used "so I know my intake''.

Roberts, who still lives in the street, also denies two counts of illegally possessing ammunition discovered after police raids following a surveillance operation.

When asked about the 13 9mm rounds - found wrapped in two socks inside a pink shoe in a washing basket in her back bedroom - she said she had no idea they were there.

She told the police interviewer: "Thirteen? That's a lucky number,'' with the officer correcting her, saying: "No, it's unlucky.''

Roberts replied: "I was born on the 13th - I'm not unlucky, yes?''

Roberts added that she barely used the bedroom, calling it "a junk room''.

"If someone was going to go lie down, they would lie down in the back room,'' she said, adding that at one stage an auntie used it while staying over.

Asked whether she ever owned pink shoes, Roberts replied: "I used to.''

"All my shoes, are in the front bedroom,'' she said, adding she had 14 pairs of trainers and four other pairs of shoes.

Roberts was asked if she had "regular guests'' like partners or boyfriends who might have stopped in the room.

The 33-year-old replied: "No, I'm not a slag, I'm not a jezebel, I've got a rabbit - I'd rather use that for nine months.''

Roberts was also interviewed about the keys to a Ford Focus parked in the street, and an insurance policy under a man's name linked to the car, both found inside her home.

Inside the car, police recovered a bag of crack cocaine with a street value of £5,000.

Another man's counterpart driving licence was also found in her house.

She denied knowing anything about the cocaine or the paperwork, saying: "I'm telling you, I don't know about that car. I know these people but I don't know about the papers.''

At one stage of the interview Roberts told the officer, in reference to the drugs: "I put my hands up for what was in my possession, but nothing else - just no.''

Roberts became agitated during another exchange, saying "I'm not an informer'' after the police interviewer mentioned she had told them about a "top man'' while was being arrested.

The officer corrected themselves, accepting Roberts had not used the term.

Roberts appeared in the dock alongside Charlene Wilson, 31, Tina Thomas, 47, and 39-year-old Ian Wright, who all still live in James Turner Street, Winson Green, Birmingham.

Wright, Thomas and Wilson are accused of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, cannabis, and heroin between May 4 and June 15 2013.

Thomas also denies one count of illegally possessing ammunition on June 1 2013. Police found five rounds of ammunition in her home, inside a sock found with Roberts's DNA on.

Roberts gave ``no comment'' responses when interviewed about the sock, and her counsel Graham Henson asked officer Louise Davies in court why, when spoken to about these bullets in interview, his client had twice wrongly been told the DNA had been found on the bullets.

Ms Davies said she had not conducted the interview and was unable to explain why.

Two others - 22-year-old Omari George, of Dora Road, Handsworth, and Marvin Scott, 38, of City Road, Edgbaston - deny three counts of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, cannabis and heroin.

The jury heard details of what the police raids uncovered in Roberts's home, including nine packets of cannabis, 16g of crack cocaine, a small amount of heroin and just over £500 in cash.

Police raiding Scott's house found £2,000 of crack cocaine on top of a washing machine and £4,000 cash in a shoebox.

In the home of Wilson, who was dating Wright at the time, there was £500 in cannabis, heroin with a street value of £150, and crack cocaine inside a plastic Kinder egg container.

Officers searching Thomas's terraced house found the bullets and £1,500 of cannabis.

The trial continues.

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