Posted by: Lister | September 29, 2007

Jean Gambell

A woman who spent 70 years in institutions after she was wrongly accused of theft has been reunited with her long-lost family.

Jean Gambell, now 85, was working as a cleaner in a doctor’s surgery when she was accused of stealing 2s 6d – equivalent to twelve-and-a-half pence. The cash later turned up but by then Jean had been sectioned.

Her two brothers found the sister they had thought was dead when a care home questionnaire came to their house.

[…] Alan Gambell, also from Wirral, added: “We were not even born in 1937 when Jean was put away but I do remember her being brought to us by two wardens when we were young.”

The boys lost touch with Jean when they were very young as the family was split up and some were put in care. When their mother died, the last link to Jean was lost.

[…] David said: “It’s been emotional. Nowadays there are reviews and appeals but back then, a doctor could sign away a life with the stroke of a pen – it’s a terrible waste.

“It’s incredible, after all this time there was no hint of bitterness.”

Cheshire County Council said it was investigating the matter.

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