Sunday 18 February 2018

Inquest date set for death of Kate hoax call nurse

Handout screen grab issued by Today Tonight of Michael Christian and Mel Greig
Handout screen grab issued by Today Tonight of Michael Christian and Mel Greig

Helen William

THE inquest into the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who answered a hoax call about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, will be heard on May 2-3.

After a hearing in which Coroner Fiona Wilcox announced the inquest will take place at the Council House Chambers in Marylebone, London, Ms Saldanha's family said they were devastated by her death.

Her husband Benedict Barboza, teenage daughter Lisha and son Junal stood quietly as MP Keith Vaz spoke on their behalf outside on the steps of Westminster Coroner's Court.

He said: "Today marks the beginning of the end as far the legal process is concerned but it does not take away the terrible grief the family are still suffering.

"The next few weeks are going to be very difficult for the family until May 2 when, of course, the inquest will begin. Both children have very important exams which they wish to concentrate on."

Mr Vaz said: "These have been dreadful, dreadful weeks and months for them. They will never ever come to terms with the death of Jacintha who they loved so much, but they hope this process will begin the healing process."

Australian DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig sparked worldwide outrage in December when they were put through to Kate's ward after phoning King Edward VII's Hospital, posing as the Prince of Wales and the Queen.

The Duchess was receiving care at the central London hospital for a rare form of pregnancy sickness when Mr Christian and Ms Greig made the prank call.

Ms Saldanha, a mother of two from Bristol, answered the phone and put the pair through to a colleague who detailed the Duchess's condition.

Her body was found in nurses' quarters three days later which led to an international backlash against the 2Day FM DJs.

Press Association

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