Print Comment Send newsitem

Australian media watchdog launches investigation into hoax call which preceded nurse's suicide

13 DECEMBER 2012

The governing body of the Australian media has announced they will open an enquiry into the hoax call which was made to the hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated for hyperemesis gravidarum.

Chris Chapman, the chairman of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), said the investigation would not focus on the presenters who staged the prank, Mel Greig and Michael Christian.



"The ACMA will be examining whether the licensee has complied with its broadcasting obligations," he said.

The hoax ended in tragedy when the nurse who took the call, Jacintha Saldanha was found dead in what appeared to be a suicide. She was discovered on Friday, 48 hours after radio station 2DayFM broadcast the stunt.

DJs Mel and Michael posed as Prince Charles and the Queen, enquiring about the Duchess of Cambridge's health. Jacintha put the call through to the ward at King Edward VII hospital where Kate was being looked after, and another nurse, thinking she was really talking to the monarch and the Prince of Wales, gave out personal medical information concerning the Duchess.

Radio boss Rhys Holleran (above) said network Southern Cross Austereo, which owns the radio station, were deeply saddened but were "confident we've broken no rules".

"We've followed procedure ... and we're satisfied that that procedure was met," he said. "We're very confident that we haven't done anything illegal. What happened was incredibly tragic and we're deeply saddened and we're incredibly affected by that."





David Cameron called Jacintha Saldanha's death "a complete tragedy" during Prime Minister's Questions.

He told the House of Commons: "I'm sure the whole House and indeed the whole country will join me in paying tribute to this nurse and giving all our sympathies and condolences to her family. 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. There will be many lessons that need to be learnt."

The British leader also urged the press to keep their distance to allow Jacintha's family the time and space to grieve.

The hospital worker's family are said to be making arrangements to take her body to her native India. A mass will be held on Saturday for the 46-year-old mum-of-two at London's Westminster Cathedral. The service will be offered 'for the repose of the soul of Jacintha and her grieving family', a spokesman for Westminster Cathedral said. "We would hope to hold a more formal memorial after the inquest has concluded."

Police said there were "no suspicious circumstances" surrounding Jacintha's death. An inquest was opened on Thursday but Westminster Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox adjourned it until March 26 so further enquiries can be carried out. The nurse left three notes for her husband Benedict Barboza and children Junal, 17, and Lisha, 14 (all above), which may give clues about what happened.

Add comment

Please type the characters that appear on the image in order to send your comment:



  • Please note, all comments are those of readers and do not represent the opinion of Hellomagazine.com
  • Hellomagazine.com reserves the right to remove comments it considers offensive or not relevant
  • Please focus on the topic