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Monday, October 1, 2007

Lost For 70Years

A WOMAN was locked up and “lost” for 70 years after being wrongly accused of stealing 13p.

Jean Gambell, 85, was “certified” indefinitely in 1937 over claims she had taken the cash while cleaning at a doctor’s surgery.

The money was found — but Jean still spent 70 years in a maze of care institutions.

She was “found” when brothers Alan, 66, and David, 63 — who thought she was dead — read a letter sent by a care home to their mother, who died 25 years ago.

David said: “I was about to throw it in the bin when I saw a name in the corner — Jean Gambell. I rang and they said our sister was there.”

The two brothers travelled from their homes in Liverpool to see Jean at the home in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Staff warned them she was deaf and may not remember them.

David said: “We were very nervous. We wrote on a piece of card ‘Hello Jean, we’re your brothers’. But she took one look at us and said, ‘Hello Alan, hello David’ — and flung her arms around us.”

He added: “Nowadays there are appeals — but back then a doctor could sign away a life with the stroke of a pen.

“They basically locked her up and threw away the key and she was stuck in the system.

“She just got moved from one institution to another.

“What a waste of a poor, innocent girl’s life.”

Jean had a stroke after meeting her brothers, believed to have been sparked by the shock of the reunion. She is said to be recovering.

Posted by Ajay :: 5:56 PM :: 0 comments

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