Nottingham

Samantha Morton 'felt like criminal' after Nottingham abuse claims

Samantha Morton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Samantha Morton, who spent much of her childhood in care homes in Nottingham, reported abuse in the 1990s

Actress Samantha Morton has said she felt "like a criminal" after talking publicly about abuse she said she suffered in care homes in Nottingham.

The actress, whose films include Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, last year claimed abuse in council care homes was "rife" in the 1980s.

She said reliving the experience, which she first reported in the 1990s, left her feeling "exposed and vulnerable".

The BBC understands Ms Morton has met police to discuss the allegations.

Ms Morton said she was sexually abused at the Red Tiles children's home in Bulwell and later physically abused at another home, Wollaton House.

The homes, which have since closed, are among 13 care homes and secure units where former residents have made compensation claims.

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Image caption Compensation has been given to residents of the former Beechwood Children's Home, among others

Speaking to Radio 4's Women's Hour, she said she spoke out in September 2014 about the abuse after getting "angrier and angrier" at "institutional barriers".

"There are individuals within all these systems who want to make it better, but they are banging their heads against brick walls, saying the system needs to change, it is not fit for purpose."

However, she said she "felt dreadful" after making the claims.

"I felt really exposed and vulnerable and then a criminal, in a way, because it was a very, very long time ago," she said.

"I felt devastated for the families of the people I mentioned.

"Was it necessary? Yes it was because, looking at the past and what happened and what should have happened, now I'm an adult, a 38-year-old mother of three - if that happened to my children, there has to be consequences.

She felt "like a criminal" because attention had focused on her "to justify" the abuse claims.

"It's very traumatic, the interviewing process... speaking to people in your past, it's really hard.

"It's a very serious thing to say... It was heartbreaking reliving it all again when I'd already reported it."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Justice Lowell Goddard said Nottinghamshire is one of 12 separate investigations in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)

The abuse of children in care in Nottinghamshire is to be investigated as part of a national inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Nottinghamshire Police has been investigating allegations of abuse in care homes since 2010, and more than 250 victims have reported offences so far.

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