Family didn't know about royal hoax call

Last updated 13:28 13/12/2012
hoax nurse family

FAMILY: Jacintha Saldanha's daughter Lisha, husband Ben Barboza and son Junal at the British Houses of Parliament.

Nurse's family 'grateful' for support

Jacintha Saldanha
TRAGIC END: Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was at the victim of a prank call from two Australian radio hosts.

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London nurse Jacintha Saldanha had not told her husband or children that she was involved in the royal hoax phone call scandal before she died.

Details of Saldanha's death are due to be revealed by a coroner tonight but the Daily Mail has reported that she was found hanged in her apartment.

During a hearing at Westminster Coroner's Court expected to last no longer than 10 minutes, the opening of a public inquest into Saldanha's death will learn how she died, and be given a brief outline of surrounding circumstances.

The 46-year-old mother of two died three days after she was duped by Australian radio presenters making a prank call to the King Edward VII Hospital where she worked and where Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine was a patient.

Saldanha, whose body was found in the hospital's staff quaters she used during the week, returned at weekends to the family home she shared with husband Benedict Barboza and children Junal, 17, and 14-year-old Lisha.

She had been expected home as usual last Friday (Saturday NZT) when police broke the news of her death.

British media outlets report she had been dead for some time when paramedics arrived.

Labour MP Keith Vaz  told the Mail: "They [the family] were in the dark about the hoax call. They hadn't watched the news or seen anything about it. They didn't know they were involved until after Jacintha's death."

She is reported to have left them a note, the details of which have not been made public.

During an address to parliament UK Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Saldanha and indicated that investigations into her death would continue.

"She clearly loved her job, loved her work and cared deeply about the health of her patients and what has happened is a complete tragedy," Cameron said.

"There will be many lessons that need to be learnt."

Sydney-based 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian are expected to be interviewed by New South Wales Police as part of the coronial investigation.

The pair posed as the Queen and Prince Charles when they prank called the hospital for details about Catherine who was being treated for acute morning sickness.

Both Greig and Christian, along with network management, have extended their condolences to Saldanha's family.

Thursday's coronial mention is due to start at 9.30am (10.30pm NZT) and at its conclusion, be adjourned to a later date.

- Agencies


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