Nottingham

Samantha Morton: Care system 'not fit for purpose'

Samantha Morton playing Ether Christie
Image caption Morton appeared in BBC drama Rillington Place in 2016

Actress Samantha Morton says the care system is "still not fit for purpose" despite a major inquiry into historical abuse at homes in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The 42-year-old has said she was the victim of abuse while growing up in care during the 1980s.

Morton said despite apologies from several public bodies, she did not feel justice had been done.

The city and county council have both apologised and produced action plans.

In July, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) found hundreds of children were abused by predatory foster carers and residential home staff in the city and county over the past five decades.

The actress, who has starred in a number of films and TV shows such as The Walking Dead and Minority Report, previously spoke out about the abuse she was subjected to.

'Very dangerous game'

She said the abuse she and her friends suffered was "equivalent to hell".

"I've lost friends - friends have died through drug overdoses, suicide, mental health issues," she said.

"The system still isn't fit for purpose. If we continue to privatise children's homes or any aspect of care of other people and we monetise it, it becomes a very dangerous game."

Image caption Samantha Morton said she was abused in care homes in Nottingham during the 1980s

Morton's acting career began in the early 1990s with appearances in Soldier Soldier, Peak Practice and Cracker.

Her adult roles have included playing Myra Hindley in Longford, Ian Curtis's widow in biopic Contol and the wife of serial killer John Christie in Rillington Place.

She is currently starring as the villainous Alpha in US zombie series The Walking Dead.

This week she was given an honorary degree by the University of Nottingham - where her mother and grandmother worked as dinner ladies.

The actress, born in the city, told the BBC: "If they were alive today they'd just be over the moon I'm here actually getting a degree, someone from my background actually achieving that is extraordinary."

Image caption The actress received an honorary degree from the university where her mother and grandmother worked as dinner ladies

Nottinghamshire County Council said it had made a "full and frank submission" to IICSA and accepted the findings.

Nottingham City Council said that although Ms Morton had been in the care of the county council, it had also taken "a number of actions to ensure survivors of non-recent abuse received the right support".

Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire Police said it had learned "many lessons over the years and during the course of the inquiry", improving how it responded to reports of abuse and supported those affected.

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