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Benefits Street star jailed for drugs and ammunitions offences

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
Samora Roberts, known to viewers of the Channel 4 show as Black Dee
Samora Roberts, known to viewers of the Channel 4 show as Black Dee

A star of TV's original Benefits Street series has been handed a seven-year jail term for possessing live ammunition and her part in running an "open all hours" drug-dealing operation.

Samora Roberts, known to viewers of the Channel 4 show as Black Dee, was arrested in June 2013 after 11 .38-calibre Smith and Wesson cartridges were found during police raids.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the 34-year-old was "thrown into the limelight" while living in James Turner Street, in the Winson Green area of the city, during filming for the 2014 season of Benefits Street.

Judge Philip Parker QC was told that Roberts - who appeared in the dock wearing a multi-coloured adidas tracksuit - has since been reduced to "sofa-surfing" and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.

Roberts was convicted by a jury in November last year of possessing ammunition and heroin, and two counts of possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply, having earlier admitted offences related to cannabis.

Jailing the reality TV star, Judge Parker told her that police surveillance footage of her home between May 3 and June 10 2013 had shown a "steady trade" of drugs being sold to customers.

The judge, who heard that cocaine and dealings bags were recovered, told Roberts: "Also found were 11 live rounds of ammunition and a single deal of heroin.

"The distributing of Class A drugs alongside Class B drugs is a despicable offence - all drugs lead to a dependency of some sort.

"The presence of live ammunition is deeply concerning. It shows how drugs can sometimes require other crimes to be committed in order to preserve them.

"The bullets which were found could clearly cause death or serious injury and there is little point for anyone being in possession of live ammunition other than for that purpose."

The judge also jailed two co-defendants of Roberts for drug-related offences, including 22-year-old Omari George, of Dora Road, Handsworth, Birmingham.

During his sentencing remarks, Judge Parker told Roberts: "It would appear that both you and Omari George were running this 'business'.

"These drugs were part of a thriving open all hours mid-terrace cottage industry."