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Royal prank death nurse left suicide note to family

The nurse at the centre of the royal hoax phone call scandal left a note for her family, it has been revealed.

Jacintha Saldanha is thought to have committed suicide after transferring a prank phone call from radio DJs to the ward where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for acute morning sickness.

The 46-year-old was the senior duty nurse at the King Edward VII Hospital when two Australian radio presenters called pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

The phone call was made at 5:30am last Tuesday, before the hospital's secretary had started work.

Mrs Saldanha's family today demanded answers from the hospital over the circumstances that led to her death, saying an internal inquiry is not enough.

A family photo of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who was found dead after being caught up in a Royal radio prank involving a Sydney station.
A family photo of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who was found dead after being caught up in a Royal radio prank involving a Sydney station.

Her husband Ben Barboza, 49, and their children Junal, 17 and Lisha, 14,  have demanded to "know everything".

Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is representing the family, met the hospital's chairman Lord Glenarthur to demand a full inquiry into her death.

The chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said: "What the family need are the full facts."

Mr Vaz added: "What the chairman of the hospital said to me was that there are inquiries going on in the hospital…That is not sufficient for the family. There are unexplained circumstances. The family want to know everything. All the facts, fully and clearly."

He went on: "The hospital needs to be more proactive, a full inquiry is needed and the family need to be included in that."

Mr Barboza, an NHS accountant, and his children live in Bristol, while Mrs Saldanha stayed in staff accommodation at the west London hospital.

Mr Vaz said: "They are a lovely close-knit family, a Catholic family, who will be spending their first Christmas without their mother, and for Ben, without his wife."

He added: "They were in the dark about the hoax call. They hadn't watched the news or seen anything about it. They didn't know they were involved until after Jacintha's death."

Meanwhile, the radio station that employs the presenters that made the call came under increasing pressure explain why they gave the go-ahead.

Southern Cross Austereo, the company which owns 2Day FM, said it would be donating almost $500,000 (£320,000)  to a memorial fund set up in Mrs Saldanha's name by King Edward VII Hospital, and added it has cancelled its Christmas party.

Rhys Holleran, Southern Cross Austereo's chief executive, said: "We hope that by contributing to a memorial fund we can help to provide the Saldanha family with the support they need at this very difficult time."

The Duchess of Cambridge, who was discharged from hospital on Thursday is said to have suffered another bout of morning sickness since.

She will not be joining Prince William at The Hobbit premiere in Leicester Square tomorrow evening and will "continue to rest privately", a royal official said.

 If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide contact Lifeline 13 11 14, beyondblue 1300 22 46 36, or Salvo Care Line 1300 36 36 22

Should radio stations continue to do prank calls?

This poll ended on 22 December 2012.

Yes. Most of the time they are harmless fun - 18%

No. They promote making fun of other people - 48%

Yes. But only after consent is given for it to be broadcast - 21%

It depends on how they are done. - 11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 

Topics:  2day fm, jacintha saldanha, kate middleton, royal radio prank



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