herald

Friday 25 July 2014

Hoax-call nurse left a suicide note attacking hospital chiefs

THE tragic nurse who was caring for the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge left behind three suicide notes for her family -- one criticising hospital management.

The mum-of-two was duped by a prank call from Australian radio DJs to the hospital treating the expectant wife of Prince William for severe sickness.

Jacintha Saldanha (46) from Bristol was found hanging in her nurses' quarters by a colleague and a security guard last Friday, an inquest was told.

There were also marks on her wrist.

Two notes were found in her room and another among her possessions, London's Westminster Coroner's Court was told.

In one, the distraught mum-of-two outlined how she struggled to come to terms with the outcome of the prank call by Mel Greig and Michael Christian of 2Day FM to the hospital.

And in another she criticised senior colleagues at the King Edward VII hospital over her treatment.

This particular note is said to have affected her family deeply.

Police are in possession of the original notes but the family have been provided with transcripts of all three.

Jacintha's third letter dealt with her funeral arrangements.

Detectives said that they also looking into telephone calls and emails to see if they throw any light on the death, according to Detective Chief Inspector James Harman.

He told coroner Fiona Wilcox that Scotland Yard detectives would be in contact with their colleagues in Australia to interview witnesses to "put the best evidence before you" about the circumstances of the death.

The body of Indian-born Ms Saldanha was identified by her accountant husband Benedict Barboza, the court heard.

None of Ms Saldanha's relatives were at the five-minute hearing.

Mr Barboza is understood to want an inquiry into the hospital and an independent probe into the days leading up to her death.

Staff at SCA, the parent company of 2Day FM, have been forced to move into safe house accommodation and managers have recruited 24-hour bodyguards for their protection, according to reports, after death threats were made.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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