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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 October 2006, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Star Morton slams jail 'mod cons'
Samantha Morton
Morton spent several years in care homes after her parents split up
Actress Samantha Morton has claimed convicted paedophiles are treated better than children in care.

The Minority Report star, who grew up in a series of children's homes, said she was disgusted at the "fantastic" conditions in a sex offenders' prison.

Morton, 29, visited HMP Wymott in Preston, Lancashire, in preparation for playing Myra Hindley in a TV drama.

She said: "The way they treat children in children's homes is appalling, yet these paedophiles have Sky telly."

Morton visited the prison to film scenes for the forthcoming Channel 4 drama Longford.

The way they treat children in children's homes is appalling, yet these paedophiles have Sky telly
Samantha Morton
She said: "We were allowed to film in a normal wing. Then I walked through some grounds, where you had this beautiful lawn, to another wing.

"As I walked down I could see each room had portable tellys, Sky TV.

"They had these amazing kitchens. Other prisoners get treated abominably but this new wing was totally fantastic with all mod cons.

"I said, 'Who are they?' and they said, 'Oh, they're the paedophiles'. I felt cold all over."

"I saw two sides to prison. It was something that shocked me beyond anything, considering how they treat our young people."

Restricted access

Morton has twice been Oscar-nominated for her roles in the 2004 film In America, and Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown in 2000.

Describing her early years growing up in Nottingham, she said: "I was a young person who grew up in the care system. We had no carpets, no nice beds, nothing.

"We got 10 a year for Christmas presents. The budget was stretched."

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "The filming at HMP Wymott took place near an education building. Within that building is a cookery classroom.

"The film crew did not enter any cell areas."

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