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Bullets found in drugs raid in TV's Benefits Street road, court told

Published 10/11/2015

Samora Roberts,
Samora Roberts, "Black Dee" from the TV show Benefits Street, outside Birmingham Crown Court

A haul of unfired bullets was found inside a woman's shoe during drugs raids in the road featured in the first series of TV's Benefits Street, a court has heard.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court heard that crack cocaine worth more than £5,000 was found inside a Ford Focus parked in James Turner Street in June 2013, while a drug "bulking" agent and deal bags were found inside houses.

Opening the case against three residents of the street who deny drug and ammunition-related charges, prosecutor Samantha Forsyth alleged that items used to store bullets at two properties had been linked to Samora Roberts by DNA tests.

Roberts, known to viewers of Benefits Street as "Black Dee", denies possession of heroin, two counts of having crack cocaine with intent to supply, and two charges of illegally possessing Smith and Wesson bullet cartridges.

A jury of seven women and five men heard that police executed warrants in James Turner Street in Winson Green, Birmingham, on June 14, raiding Roberts' home and those of Marvin Scott, 38, and 47-year-old Tina Thomas.

Ms Forsyth said: "Essentially this case is about drugs and bullets that were found in James Turner Street.

"That street attracted some publicity by way of a television programme.

"Channel 4 showed a programme called Benefits Street and some of the people involved in this case appeared on that programme."

After showing jurors a map of the defendants' addresses, the prosecutor added: "Officers went into those houses and they found what the Crown would describe as significant quantities of controlled drugs.

"Quantities of crack cocaine were found at Marvin Scott's address and also in a car that was parked not very far from where Samora Roberts lived."

The Crown alleges that crack cocaine with a street value of just under £500 was found underneath a pillow in Roberts' bedroom, where bullets were discovered inside a red shoe.

Ms Forsyth added: "That lady's shoe was forensically tested and found inside the shoe was DNA that comes from Samora Roberts."

Bullets recovered from a pink trinket box found in Miss Thomas's bedroom were also linked to Roberts, the Crown claims, after the 34-year-old's DNA was found on a sock they were stored in.

Thomas has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of possessing three bullet cartridges.

Scott denies possessing crack cocaine with intent to supply the drug, and a further charge of possessing cannabis.

The trial, expected to last for around a week, continues on Wednesday.

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