The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 8:37 p.m.

Inquest: Nurse in royal hoax found hanging

Jacintha Saldanha answered the phone last week when two Australian disc jockeys called seeking information about the former Kate Middleton.

  • A student of a nursing college holds a poster of nurse Jacintha Saldanha during a candlelight vigil in Bangalore, India, on Thursday.

    Aijaz Rahi / Associated Press

    A student of a nursing college holds a poster of nurse Jacintha Saldanha during a candlelight vigil in Bangalore, India, on Thursday.

LONDON -- A nurse was found hanging in her room three days after she had been duped by a hoax call from Australian DJs about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, a U.K. inquest was told. The case is being treated as an apparent suicide.
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was discovered hanging by a scarf from a wardrobe in her nurses' quarters Dec. 7 by a colleague and a member of security staff at London's King Edward VII Hospital, coroner's officer Lynda Martindill said Thursday.
Martindill said an attempt to revive Saldanha failed.
Police detective chief inspector James Harman said Saldanha, 46, also had injuries to her wrists.
He told the inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court that two notes were found at the scene and another was found among Saldanha's belongings. He said there were no suspicious circumstances, meaning nobody else was involved in Saldanha's death.
Harman said police were examining the notes, interviewing the nurse's friends, family and colleagues and looking at emails and phone calls to establish what led to her death. He also said detectives would be contacting police in the Australian state of New South Wales to collect "relevant evidence."
Saldanha answered the phone last week when two Australian disc jockeys called seeking information about the former Kate Middleton, who was being treated for severe morning sickness. The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, and Saldanha was tricked into transferring the call to another nurse, who revealed private details about the duchess' condition.
The DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, apologized for the prank in emotional interviews on Australian television, saying they never expected their call would be put through. The show was taken off the air and the DJs have been suspended.
New South Wales state police said Friday that they were investigating a letter sent to the station that made several threats against the DJs. Police declined to release details of the letter and a spokeswoman for the station did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is investigating whether radio station 2DayFM breached its broadcasting license conditions and the industry code of practice.
In London, coroner Fiona Wilcox opened and adjourned Saldanha's inquest until March 26.
Wilcox expressed "my sympathies to her family and everybody who has been touched by this tragic death."
In Britain, inquests are held to determine the facts whenever someone dies unexpectedly, violently or in disputed circumstances. Inquests do not determine criminal liability or apportion blame.
The local authority, Westminster Council, said Saldanha's body was released to her family after Thursday's hearing.
Saldanha, who was born in India, lived in Bristol in southwestern England with her husband and two teenage children. Her husband, Benedict Barboza, has said she will be laid to rest in Shirva, India.
The family was not in court. Lawmaker Keith Vaz, who has spoken on their behalf, said the nurse's loved ones "need time to grieve."
Vaz said a memorial Mass would be held Saturday at London's Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Photo galleries

» More HeraldNet galleries

HeraldNet highlights

Lofty potential for drones
Lofty potential for drones: Aircraft could be used in real estate, other businesses
A community of kindness
A community of kindness: Seahawks home a display of affection for couple's daughter
Looking for a friend?
Looking for a friend?: Animals up for adoption at the Everett shelter (7 new photos)
Super snacks
Super snacks: Best finger-food recipes to make for the big game
SnoCoSocial