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Inquiry into death of nurse pranked over royal pregnancy delayed until September

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, April 29, 2013 9:30 EDT
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An undated family photograph of Jacintha Saldanha, a nurse who died after taking a prank call targeting Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine. (AFP)
 
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The inquest into the death of the nurse who took a prank call targeting Prince William’s pregnant wife Catherine has been delayed to September, an official said on Monday.

Indian-born Jacintha Saldanha, a mother of two, was found hanged several days after taking the call from two Australian DJs, which resulted in details of the Duchess of Cambridge’s morning sickness being made public.

The inquest into her death formally opened in December but the full proceedings had been due to start on Thursday.

“It’s been delayed. It’s listed for September 12 and 13. There are some issues about paperwork,” said a spokesman for Westminster City Council in London, which is responsible for the inquest.

One of the two Australian radio presenters involved in the prank said on Monday she would attend the inquest to answer any questions at the hearing, which seeks to establish cause of death but no blame.

Radio jockey Mel Greig had pretended to be Queen Elizabeth II while her colleague Michael Christian pretended to be William’s father Prince Charles when they called the private London hospital where Catherine was being treated for acute morning sickness.

Saldanha put their call through to another nurse on the duchess’s ward, who divulged details about how she was feeling.

When the call was broadcast on Australian radio, it caused a global media storm and her subsequent death triggered a major backlash against the radio network and the hosts.

Saldanha had reportedly been depressed before the incident, but in one of three suicide notes she left, she blamed Christian and Greig for her death, according to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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