Acclaimed British actress Samantha Morton has revealed how she was convicted of threatening to kill a girl in a carehome when she was younger.

The star, whose has played characters as diverse as Myra Hindley and Marilyn Monroe in previous roles, told a national newspaper in an interview that she was sentenced to 18 weeks in an attendance centre over the incident.

Morton claimed the threats came when she pulled a knife on an older girl who was bullying her during a disturbance at a care home in Nottingham.

"I was being physically abused and I retaliated," she told the Guardian newspaper, adding: "The only person I hurt in the end was myself."

Morton said she never intended to touch her victim but was arrested by police in the immediate aftermath and "locked in a cell for three days".

"It was terrible. I just sat there thinking, I don't want this life - I'm not a petty criminal. I'm not a thug. I was so ashamed of myself," she added.

Morton is currently doing publicity rounds for her directorial debut The Unloved - which is partly based on her experiences from childhood and will be screened on Channel 4.

25/04/2009 20:35:08