Nottingham child abuse campaigner Mickey Summers dies

By Samantha Noble
BBC News, East Midlands

Image source, Kelsang Jorlam
Image caption,
Mickey Summers was at the heart of a campaign to get allegations of child abuse in care homes investigated

A man who was a key campaigner in the fight to expose historical child abuse in Nottingham has died.

Mickey Summers was a victim of child sexual abuse while in the care of Nottinghamshire County Council.

His friends and sister have paid tribute to a "fighter" and "inspirational" man.

Fellow campaigner David Hollas, 61, from Cotgrave, said: "He gave inspiration and hope to others - if he could fight, they could also fight."

Image source, Mandy Coupland
Image caption,
Mr Summers, photographed here at the Dirty Washing child abuse protest in 2015, was a core participant in the IICSA inquiry

His sister Debbie Bloud said his death was "devastating" for her and their other sister.

She said she was "very, very proud of him", describing his campaigning as "second to none".

"He is leaving behind a legacy as far as I am concerned," she said.

Nottingham Coroner's Court said a post-mortem examination will be carried out to establish Mr Summers' cause of death after he was found at his Clifton home on Saturday.

It added the circumstances were not suspicious.

Image source, Mandy Coupland
Image caption,
Mr Hollas said over the last couple of days, the words "inspirational", "hope" and "fighter" keep coming up when people talk about Mr Summers

Mr Summers, 67, was a vocal campaigner and spent years speaking out on behalf of himself and other victims.

In 2015 he was served an interim injunction by Nottingham City Council for his protests - although this never progressed to a full injunction.

Media caption,
Mickey Summers, with the megaphone, has protested loudly at council meetings and outside an official's house

He described the Nottinghamshire strand of the IICSA hearings as "amazing".

Mr Hollas added: "Like all survivors of abuse, Mickey was not blessed with a great life afterwards.

"He expected people [the authorities] to tell the truth and when they didn't, he became angry.

"He had to fight his demons.

"He had become [addicted] to drugs and alcohol but managed to come through the other side because of his own determination."

Image source, Mandy Coupland
Image caption,
Mandy Coupland (right) said Mr Summers, dressed here as the grim reaper, was "very caring"

Mandy Coupland, who co-founded Nottinghamshire CSA Survivors Group with Mr Summers, said he gave "survivors a voice".

She said: "He... encouraged people to have that voice, gave people strength and gave people hope.

"He was a very inspiring person and brought so much to the table. He was very caring as well."

Ms Coupland added their survivors' group was given a Partnership Award from Nottinghamshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping in November for increasing awareness of abuse suffered by children in care homes.

Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council Kay Cutts said: "Mr Summers or Mickey, as he insisted I and my officers referred to him as, was a singularly determined and resolute campaigner.

"He sought both the truth of and, wherever possible, justice for the hundreds of people who as children were abused whilst in the care of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire councils.

"We hope that he rests in peace."

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