'I had nothing to do with drugs, says gran ordered out of Leicester flat
A great-grandmother who was ordered out of her council flat after a court found drugs had been used and sold there has told how she is adjusting to temporary homelessness.
Pamela Chamberlain, 73, is technically homeless and cannot return to her flat because it is the subject of a "crack house" closure order for the next three months.
In the meantime, Leicester City Council has placed her in a bed and breakfast hotel in London Road, near the city centre. The authority will decide next week whether to move her elsewhere.
Miss Chamberlain's grandson, 21-year-old Spencer Mottram, who was also ordered to leave the flat in Topcliffe Walk, Stocking Farm, Leicester, is staying with her.
She said: "On the first night Spencer and I slept in an empty house a friend let us use. There was no heating, so it was very cold. Then we were moved to the hotel in London Road. We're sharing a room – he has a single bed and I've got the double. We will still be here on Sunday night and then we'll see what happens.
"The council has offered to put us in a 19th-floor flat in Highfields, but I don't think I could go there because I can't go in lifts and I can't climb even one flight of stairs."
Mr Mottram was allowed into her flat to retrieve medication and clothing before it was sealed at 5pm on Wednesday.
Miss Chamberlain's two cats are being cared for by friends.
She said: "Spencer brought me my medication but not any clothes. I've had to borrow a frock off a friend."
Throughout Wednesday's hearing, Miss Chamberlain disputed the evidence presented by police and council officials. She maintained her stance when she spoke to the Mercury yesterday.
She said: "I wouldn't mind going through this if I was guilty of the things the police said, but I'm not."
During the hearing, Miss Chamberlain told the court she would be willing to take a lie detector test on the Jeremy Kyle television show.
Police presented evidence that Miss Chamberlain had ignored a number of warnings about incidents in and around her home. They said the behaviour of a group of young men, who were said to be Mr Mottram's friends, had left some people in the neighbourhood scared and intimidated.
Police executed a drugs warrant at the flat in early January. Officers found a package which contained heroin and crack cocaine worth £3,500 underneath her flat's kitchen window in a communal yard.
Once inside, officers arrested six young men, four of whom were sitting in the kitchen.
Lists of names and figures which police said were records of drugs transactions and two digital scales were also recovered in the flat. Officers had watched the flat and observed a number of people approach it, meet a man outside it and then leave after a few seconds.
Sergeant Michelle Zakoscielny, who runs the Abbey ward beat team, which collected evidence for the hearing, said: "The effect on local residents has been significant.
"In the immediate vicinity are young families and pensioners who have, at times, feared for their safety due to the anti-social behaviour caused by a constant stream of visitors to this address.
"I want to express my sincere thanks to residents who have been more than willing to come forward and provide statements to the police."