Hoax call nurse inquest postponed
Monday 9th September 2013, 3:40PM BST.
The family of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who answered a hoax call about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, are “disappointed” her inquest has been adjourned again, Labour MP Keith Vaz has said.
Mr Vaz, who began helping Ms Saldanha’s family soon after she was found dead last December, said they were surprised to learn the hearing, due to start this week, had been postponed.
Ms Saldanha’s body was discovered in nurses’ quarters three days after she answered the hoax call at central London’s King Edward VII’s Hospital, where Kate was being treated for a rare form of pregnancy sickness.
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.
Speaking on behalf of Ms Saldanha’s family Mr Vaz, 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.”
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.