Tuesday 12 December 2017

Kate nurse death inquest adjourned yet again

Tony Jones

The inquest into the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who answered a hoax call about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, has been adjourned again.

Ms Saldanha was found dead in nurses' quarters three days after she answered the call at central London's King Edward VII's Hospital, where Kate was being treated for a rare form of pregnancy sickness in December.


The nurse, a mother of two from Bristol, answered the phone and put the callers - two Australian radio presenters - through to a colleague who gave details of the Duchess's condition.


The inquest was due to be heard on Thursday and Friday this week at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.


But it has been adjourned to a date yet to be announced, the second time it has been postponed after first being scheduled for early May.


A spokesman for Westminster City Council, which handles media inquiries for Westminster Coroner's Court where the inquest was first opened, said the adjournment was because Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox was "seeking more information".


He added: "We hope to have a new date within a few days."


Ms Saldanha's death sparked a worldwide backlash against 2Day FM DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig, who made the prank call.


The inquest will hear evidence in person from Ms Greig who confirmed earlier this year, through her lawyers, that she would travel to London for the hearing.


The coroner has granted anonymity to a duty nurse who may have been one of the last people to speak with Ms Saldanha on the night of the call.


The inquest is also set to hear from security staff and police who can give details about the scene of the death.


One of several notes left at the scene is reported to have blamed the radio presenters directly.


Labour MP Keith Vaz, who has been helping the nurse's family, said they were "disappointed" by the adjournment of the inquest.


He said: "They were surprised to hear that the inquest has been adjourned just a few days before it was due to begin.


"They are rather disappointed at the decision as they have been waiting for nine months and this is the second time the inquest has been adjourned. For them the inquest represents closure.


"We very much hope we will have a new date set soon."

Online Editors

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