Jacintha Saldanha: Suicide note criticising senior hospital staff found among possessions of nurse at centre of Duchess of Cambridge phone call hoax
Jacintha Saldanha was found hanged in her apartment in the nurses’ quarters at the King Edward VII hospital last Friday
One of the three suicide notes written by the nurse who took a hoax phone call at a hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge was critical her colleagues, it was reported today.
Jacintha Saldanha was found hanged in her apartment in the nurses’ quarters at the King Edward VII hospital last Friday following a prank phone call from Australian DJs Mel Grieg and Michael Christian.
Yesterday a coroner heard that Mrs Saldanha left three suicide notes before she died.
Two were in the room where the 46-year-old was found hanging by colleagues, while a third was found among her personal possessions, police said.
Mrs Saldanha’s family has been given typed copies of the three notes and has reportedly read the contents.
One note apparently deals with the hoax call from the 2Day FM DJs, another details her requests for her funeral, and the third addresses her employers, the hospital, and contains criticism of staff there, according to the Guardian, who say they have spoken with two separate sources.
Giving evidence at Westminster Coroner’s Court yesterday, Detective Chief Inspector James Harman said Mrs Saldanha was found by a colleague and a security guard in the hospital’s nurses’ quarters.
He confirmed that the nurse was found hanging and that she had cuts on her wrists. DCI Harman added that Scotland Yard expected be in contact with police in New South Wales in the very near future to interview witnesses to “put the best evidence before” the coroner about the circumstances of the death.
He said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Ms Saldanha’s death.
The body of Indian-born Ms Saldanha had been visually identified by her accountant husband Benedict Barboza, the court heard.
Mrs Saldanha was the senior nurse on duty at the hospital in Marylebone when two Australian radio DJs pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles made the call at 5:30am on Tuesday last week.
The mother of two then transferred the hoax call to the ward where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for acute morning sickness.
A second nurse then revealed personal information about the Duchess’ condition to the hoax callers.
On Wednesday, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that it has opened a formal investigation into the prank. The investigation will focus on the compliance of the licensee, Today FM Sydney Pty Ltd, with its licence conditions and the Australian Commercial Radio Codes of Practice, it said.
Chris Chapman, the ACMA chairman, said the investigation would not focus on the presenters. “The ACMA will be examining whether the licensee has complied with its broadcasting obligations,” he said.
The station 2Day FM has been criticised in the past over its broadcasting standards. In 2009, a 14-year-old girl was encouraged to reveal that she had been raped while strapped to a lie-detector on air. And the same presenter Kylie Sandilands later called a female journalist “some fat slag” and a “piece of shit”.
The station’s parent company has pledged to donate £326,000 from its advertising profits to a memorial fund set up in Mrs Saldanha’s name by King Edward VII Hospital.
2Day FM's chief executive expressed his sorrow. Rhys Holleran said: “It is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts continue to be with the family.”
The coroner opened and adjourned the inquest this morning, giving a provisional date of March 26 2013 for it to continue.
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