1. ITV Report

Nurse Jacintha Saldanha found hanged after royal hospital prank call

Jacintha Saldanha was found in her nurses' quarters by a colleague and a security guard on Friday. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The nurse who was duped by a prank call from two Australian radio DJs to the hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was found hanging, an inquest has heard.

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, a mother-of-two from Bristol, was found in her nurses' quarters by a colleague and a security guard on Friday.

ITV News' Juliet Bremner reports:

There were also marks on her wrist.

Two notes were found in her room and another was among her possessions, London's Westminster Coroner's Court was told.

On Friday 7 December Jacintha Saldanha was found by a colleague and a member of security staff. Sadly she was found hanging.

There was also injuries to her wrist.

The London Ambulance Service was called to the scene. At this time there are no suspicious circumstances.

– Detective Chief Inspector James Harman

Detectives are also looking into telephone calls and emails to see if they throw any light on the death, Mr Harman said.

He told the Coroner, Dr Fiona Wilcox, that Scotland Yard detectives would be in contact with their colleagues in Australia to interview witnesses to "put the best evidence before you" about the circumstances of the death.

He said: "I can expect in the very near future to be in contact with colleagues in New South Wales."

The body of Indian-born Ms Saldanha had been visually identified by her accountant husband Benedict Barboza, the court heard.

None of Ms Saldanha's heartbroken relatives were at the five-minute hearing but as she set a provisional date of 26 March next year for the next hearing Dr Wilcox told family representatives:

I would like the police to pass on my sympathies to her family and everybody who has been touched by this tragic death.

Members of the media gathered outside Westminster Coroner's Court. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ms Saldanha had been fooled by the two DJs into believing they were the Queen and Prince of Wales during the prank call to the King Edward VII's Hospital in London.

She unwittingly transferred the call from the Sydney-based station 2Day FM to a colleague, who described in detail the condition of Kate, who was being treated at the time for severe pregnancy sickness.

Labour MP Keith Vaz. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is campaigning on behalf of the family, has released a copy of a letter he had written to John Lofthouse, chief executive of King Edward VII's Hospital which said Ms Saldanha's family would take up the hospital's offer of bereavement counselling and that they had also given the institution a list of questions they wanted answered.

A mass is to be held for Ms Saldanha at London's Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.

The mass will be offered "for the repose of the soul of Jacintha and her grieving family," a spokesman for the Cathedral said. The statement added: "We would hope to hold a more formal memorial after the inquest has concluded."

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