A woman arrested with significant quantities of drugs following a covert police operation at her home has admitted running a dealing operation.

Elizabeth Balaam, 67, was found with three bags of heroin when officers entered her property in Old Bury Road, Thetford, in September 2022.

Norwich Crown Court was told it followed a surveillance operation that monitored people visiting the building and leaving a short time later.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Police had a property at Old Bury Road in Thetford under surveillancePolice had a property at Old Bury Road in Thetford under surveillance (Image: Google)

One woman seen leaving had been found in possession of white powder later identified as diamorphine, known to users as street heroin. 

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Ian James, prosecuting, said Balaam was a “busy heroin supplier with expectations of a significant financial reward”.

He said when police burst into her property she had been in the process of weighing quantities of drugs on scales.

Two containers of brown powder had been discovered in a coffee table together with a small pre-packed bag containing about 20g grams of heroin with an estimated street value of more than £1,000.

Cash totalling £180 and a mobile phone containing messages indicating the buying of drugs and sales in ounces were also seized. 

Thetford & Brandon Times: Balaam was found weighing quantities of street heroin on scales in her living roomBalaam was found weighing quantities of street heroin on scales in her living room (Image: Newsquest)

Balaam, who has 28 previous convictions for 74 offences including selling crack cocaine, initially denied possessing class A drugs with intent to supply but changed her plea to admit it a month before her planned trial. 

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Mr James said she had made no comment in police interviews and had not given any explanation of her involvement.

“The quantities involved are far greater than someone simply funding their own drug use,” he added.

Recorder Nicola Fitches adjourned her sentencing after hearing there was a dispute between prosecutors and her defence over her basis of plea. A future hearing will determine her level of culpability.  

John Morgans, mitigating, said he had been buying in bulk to sell in order to fund her habit.

“Whatever profit there was went straight back into the system due to her addiction,” he added.