A FAMILY has spoken of their despair of not knowing what happened to their missing mum.

Mental health patient Jackie Gulliford has not been seen since she left her Eynsham home early on Tuesday last week.

Yesterday her daughter Sarah, 32, said: “She is the kindest, sweetest, most gentle woman you would ever meet.

“I don’t think the mum that I know what have done anything like this to cause us this much pain.”

Police have now scaled back the search for the 61-year-old after scouring the village and nearby Wytham Woods.

Worcester College accounts clerk Mrs Gulliford has lived in Hawthorn Road with husband Bruce, 63, for about 30 years.

She was voluntarily treated for depression and anxiety at the Warneford Hospital in Headington before she disappeared.

Her son James, speaking from his Witney home yesterday, said the family were coming to terms with the idea that she would not be coming home.

He said: “We are all planning for the worst and starting to live life where it is just the three of us rather than the four of us.”

The 28-year-old said police had no leads despite a few calls of possible sightings. Yet he appealed for anyone with information to call the police on 101.

His sister, a mum-of-two, said their mother was a lovely person who was besotted with her grandchildren.

She said: “The other side of that is she cared about people so much and that is why she became unwell because she worries about everyone else.

“In my mind she has an illness in her brain and she was not functioning properly. It is not a choice she has made.”

And she said the hardest thing for her was not knowing what had happened, adding: “The likely outcome is when the flood water goes down she will be found.

“Or she might never be found and we might feel sick everytime the phone rings.”

The family also said they were was disappointed Oxford Health had not given them more advice when Mrs Gulliford was discharged from hospital.
Sarah, a former mental health care coordinator, said: “They did not contact us at all during her stay there.”

Supt Colin Paine, area commander for West Oxfordshire and Cherwell, said: “We pulled out all the stops to look for Jacqueline. We have been working tremendously hard over the past week together with the family and community in Eynsham.

“As the flood waters begin to subside we will then revisit all the areas of ground search we couldn’t search before.”