A grandmother has been arrested for allegedly trying to sell drugs she found washed up on a Norfolk beach – to pay for her hip replacement.
Edna Spratt, 71, discovered a sports bag containing cocaine on a beach near Lowestoft just days after huge quantities of the drug were found along the Norfolk coastline.
But instead of calling the police to hand in the drugs, said to have a street value of £500,000, Spratt took the packages back to her home near Dereham.
Officers claim she asked her son, Billy Bob, what the mysterious white powder was, and was surprised to be told it was a high-class drug.
She reasoned she could sell the Class A cocaine in Norwich and use the money to pay for a hip replacement she had wanted for 10 years.
But Spratt’s cunning plan was foiled when undercover police posed as customers at a midnight meeting close to the Norwich City Football ground in Carrow Road.
Norfolk police spokesman PC Jesse Pinkman said Spratt was arrested on the spot and subsequently charged with possession with intent to supply.
A police statement said: “A 71-year-old woman appeared before city magistrates and admitted what she had done. But she will still have to go to Crown Court for sentencing.
“Magistrates granted her bail after hearing she desperately needed money for a hip replacement, and she had no intention of becoming a big player in the drugs world.
“She has apologised to all concerned, and is terrified she might have to go to prison. We would urge anyone finding drugs on East Anglian beaches to hand them into police.”
Spratt’s lawyer, Walter White, said the circumstances around the case, including the fact she found the drugs rather than purchased them, would be taken into account and he expected her to escape with a fine.
More than £50 million of cocaine was washed up on beaches north of Lowestoft last month. Police appealed for the public to keep away, but hundreds of thousands of people took it upon themselves to “take a pleasant stroll on the beach”.
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