December 13, 2012

Coroner: Nurse in British royal hoax found hanging

A chief detective said Jacintha Saldanha also had injuries to her wrists and three notes were found in the room.

The Associated Press

LONDON — A nurse who passed a hoax call into the hospital room of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge apparently killed herself three days later, with a coroner's officer saying Tuesday she was found hanging by the neck and a detective saying she left three notes.

click image to enlarge

A policeman stands on duty outside as media gather at Westminster Coroner's Court where the initial inquest into nurse Jacintha Saldanha's death was opened Thursday.

AP

An undated photo of the late nurse Jacintha Saldanha provided by Saldanha's family in Shirva north of Mangalore, India.

AP

Coroner's officer Lynda Martindill said nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found hanging by a scarf from a wardrobe in her room by a colleague and a member of the security staff at London's King Edward VII Hospital last week.

Police detective chief inspector James Harman said Saldanha also had injuries to her wrists. He told the coroner's inquest that three notes were found in the room. Police have said there were no suspicious circumstances, meaning nobody else was involved in Saldanha's death.

As well as examining the notes, he said police were interviewing her friends, family and colleagues and looking at emails and phone calls to establish what led to her death. The case is being treated as an apparent suicide.

Saldanha answered the phone last week when two Australian disc jockeys called to seek 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 duped into transferring them to a nurse caring for the duchess.

Australia's media watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, said on Thursday it was launching an official investigation into whether the radio station, 2DayFM, breached its broadcasting license conditions and the industry code of practice

Coroner Fiona Wilcox opened and adjourned the inquest until March 26.

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