Royal Prank Call: CPS To Consider Charges

Lawyers are now deciding whether to bring charges over the prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was treated.

A nurse working at the King Edward VII Hospital, where the Duchess was suffering from severe morning sickness, killed herself after being duped by the hoax by two Australian radio presenters.

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, transferred the call from the DJs pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles to the ward where the Duchess was being treated. Another nurse gave them details of her condition.

Ms Saldanha, a mother-of-two, was found dead in nurses accommodation just three days later on December 7. She had hanged herself.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will now consider whether any potential criminal offences may have been committed, Scotland Yard said.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Following the death of Jacintha Saldanha, officers have liaised with the CPS as to whether any criminal offences had been committed in relation to the hoax call made to King Edward VII Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday December 4.

"On Wednesday December 19, officers submitted a file to the CPS for them to consider whether any potential offences may have been committed by making the hoax call."

About 2,000 people turned out for the funeral of Ms Saldanha earlier this week in the small Indian town of Shirva, near Mangalore, where her husband Ben Barboza was born.

Mr Barboza and the couple's two children, Lisha, 14, and Junal, 16, have said that her death has left them "shattered" and her loss has left an "unfillable void".

Ms Saldanha left three notes, the opening of an inquest into her death has heard. It has been reported that one was critical of the hospital and its treatment of her.

However, officials at the hospital have insisted that they offered her a great deal of support during the fall-out from the hoax and did not criticise her or discipline her.

In a letter to the MP Keith Vaz, who has been supporting the family, John Lofthouse, the Chief Executive of King Edward VII Hospital, said: "Jacintha was reassured on a number of occasions by senior management that no blame was attached to her actions and that there were no disciplinary issues involved, because she had been the victim of a cruel trick."

Following the death of Ms Saldanha, the two DJ's Mel Greig and Michael Christian and other staff at the radio station 2DayFM received death threats.

As many as a dozen staff were moved to safe houses while executives at the broadcaster were given bodyguards.

Miss Greig and Mr Christian gave a television interview apologising to Ms Saldanha's family and saying they too were shattered.

They said their prank had prompted "a tragic turn of events no-one could have predicted or expected".

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), the parent company of 2Day FM, has ended the DJs' Hot 30 show and suspended prank calls across the company in the wake of Ms Saldanha's death.