File picture of a garlanded portrait of Jacintha Saldanha
India-born nurse Jacintha Saldanha had received a series of prank calls from an Australian radio station in the lead up to her suicide at a London hospital last December, a media report said today.
Details of the prank call by DJs Mel Grieg and Michael Christian to King Edward VII hospital, where Kate Middleton was being treated for acute morning sickness, are well known but new reports indicate that a number of follow-up calls had been made by the 2Day FM show.
A 'Sunday Times' investigation claims Southern Cross Austereo, the owners of the radio station, will present the inquest into Saldanha's death - scheduled for September 12 and 13 - with clear evidence of four follow-up calls within an hour or so of the original hoax call.
The newspaper found that the hospital continued to believe there had been no further calls but allowed for the possibility that the 46-year-old senior nurse had received the calls and never disclosed them.
This could have added to her distress and ultimately triggered her decision to hang herself in her nurse's accommodation at the hospital.
"One of the calls was ended abruptly, but three others were long enough to have been a conversation. They were not made by the DJs, but members of the 'Hot30' show's production team," the 'Times' investigation claimed.
"They were not recorded, but the phone log confirms the destination number and the duration of the calls. It seems highly likely the calls were answered by Jacintha and that she never disclosed these calls to another person before she hanged herself," it claimed.
The hospital reportedly treated Saldanha and another nurse on the Duchess of Cambridge's ward who had given out details of her condition believing Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles were on the phone as "victims" of a prank and assured them of no further disciplinary action.
Mangalore-born Saldanha left behind three suicide notes and while two are described as "housekeeping", intended to get her affairs in order, the third clearly implicates the two Australian DJs: "I hold the Radio Australians Mel Greig and Michael Christian responsible for their act. Please make them pay my mortgage. I am sorry, Jacintha."