Dead nurse who received hoax call found hanged
By Caroline Davies, The Guardian
Jacintha Saldanha was discovered at flat near King Edward VII hospital where Duchess of Cambridge was being treated
The nurse found dead after a hoax call to the hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was found hanged, the Guardian understands.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, a mother of two from Bristol, was discovered unconscious at her nurses’ flat near the private King Edward VII hospital in central London on Friday morning.
A postmortem has been carried out, with the results expected to be officially announced at the opening of the inquest into her death on Thursday morning at Westminster coroners court.
The Guardian confirmed a report on Sky News that she had been found hanged. Scotland Yard would not comment on the reports.
Saldanha was the nurse who answered a hoax call to the hospital from two Australian radio DJs in the early hours of Tuesday last week, just hours after the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted for acute morning sickness.
The nurse, who had worked at the hospital for more than four years, was discovered at around 9.30am on Friday morning. Reports that she left a suicide note have not been confirmed.
The death is not being treated as suspicious, and the inquest is expected to be opened and adjourned on Thursday as inquiries continue.
The family of the nurse are set to receive more than £350,000 from Southern Cross Austereo, the parent company of the Sydney station 2Day FM, whose presenters rang the hospital inquiring about the duchess’s medical condition and posing as the Queen and Prince of Wales.
Saldanha is understood to be the nurse who answered the call, then, believing she was talking to members of the royal family, transferred it to a duty nurse on the duchess’s ward.
The DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, have spoken of their devastation over the “unforeseen consequences” of the call. Both are off air at the moment. The station has cancelled its Christmas party, and pledged to donate profits from advertising until the end of the year to a fund to help Saldanha’s family.
The hospital has set up a memorial fund to help support her husband and two teenage children.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said on Wednesday the postmortem result “would be announced tomorrow at the inquest”.
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