Jacintha Saldanha criticised hospital staff in suicide note

Last Updated 14 December 2012, 13:20 IST

An Indian-origin nurse, found dead after a hoax call to the hospital treating Princess Kate, has criticised her senior colleagues in one of the three emotional suicide notes she left behind, a media report said today.

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, wrote three emotional notes revealing the anguish that led to her suicide after she was duped by two Australian DJs into believing they were royalty, the Daily Mirror reported.

In one, the distraught mum-of-two outlines how she struggled to come to terms with the prank call by Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian to the hospital where a pregnant Kate was being treated for severe morning sickness.

But in another she criticises senior colleagues at the King Edward VII hospital over her treatment after the pair had pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles asking about the duchess's condition.

It is believed the nurse's suicide note has left her grieving family furious, with husband Ben Barboza understood to want an inquiry into the hospital.

A source close to Saldanha's family was quoted by the paper as saying: "One of the letters, which is the longest, deals with the hospital and is critical in its tone. Needless to say, Ben wants a full inquiry into what happened, and he wants to make sure the truth comes out. Within the letter Jacintha calls into question some of the treatment she received at the hospital."

Scotland Yard detectives are examining the notes, as well as interviewing Saldanha's friends, family and colleagues at the hospital. The family have been provided with
transcripts of all three notes.

Saldanha's third suicide letter is more of a practical one which deals with her funeral arrangements.

Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is working on behalf of her relatives, said last night: "The truth of this matter has to come out for the sake of her family".

Saldanha, from Bristol, was found hanged last Friday at the nurses' home where she was staying, the opening of her inquest at Westminster coroner's court was told yesterday.

The contents of the letters were not read out at the inquest, however the family source insisted they want the truth to be made public about what happened.

Detective Chief Inspector James Harman of the Metropolitan police told the hearing: "Jacintha Saldanha was found by a colleague and a member of security hanging from a scarf attached to a wardrobe. There were also some injuries to her wrists."

"At this time there are no suspicious circumstances. Two notes were found at the scene and another note recovered from her belongings," Harman told the hearing.

Coroner's officer Linda Martin said unsuccessful attempts were made to resuscitate Jacintha, who had a daughter, Lisha, 14, and 16-year-old son Junal.
Her body was identified by Ben, 49, and a postmortem was carried out on Tuesday.

Harman said police in New South Wales had been asked to obtain statements from Greig and Christian. Friends and family of the victim were being interviewed and emails and any phone calls made investigated.

Coroner Fiona Wilcox fixed a provisional date for a full inquest on March 26 next year, which would have been Saldanha's 47th birthday.

Wilcox told relatives in court: "I would like to pass on my sympathy to you and her family and all those who have been touched by this terribly tragic death."
Vaz said Saldanha's relatives will hold a memorial service for her in London. He did not reveal the venue but said the event would be for "family and friends all over the country" to celebrate her life.

It is understood the service will be at Westminster Cathedral.

Meanwhile, the King Edward VII hospital pledged to carry on helping Ben and other relatives.

"The hospital has met with the family and will continue to support them for as long as is required," a spokeswoman said.

She added that a senior member of staff has been assigned to "comfort" them.

(Published 14 December 2012, 10:22 IST)

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