As the backlash against phone prank DJs grows, victim’s brother says she would have been devastated

Missed: Jacintha Saldanha pictured with her husband Ben Barboza
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found dead on Friday morning in nurses’ accommodation.

The family of the tragic nurse in the royal hospital hoax believe she died of shame.

Jacintha Saldanha’s brother Naveen told the Daily Mail that his devoutly Catholic sister was a ‘proper and righteous person’.

She would have been ‘devastated’ at unwittingly assisting a colleague in breaching medical confidentiality over the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge.

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Missed: Jacintha Saldanha pictured with her husband Ben Barboza
‘She would have felt much shame about the incident,’ he said.

Mother-of-two Mrs Saldanha, 46, was found dead on Friday morning – 48 hours after the broadcast of an early-morning prank call in which two Australian DJs posed as the Queen and Prince of Wales.

Mrs Saldanha put the call through to Kate’s ward at the King Edward VII Hospital in central London, where an unnamed colleague gave details of the duchess’s treatment for severe morning sickness.

A recording of the conversation was broadcast on the 2Day FM station with the DJs gleefully boasting about their successful hoax.

Yesterday they were in hiding as the worldwide backlash against their action grew.
Jacintha Saldanha
‘A proper and righteous person’: Jacintha Saldanha was a devout Catholic
Mrs Saldanha, whose husband Benedict Barboza is an NHS accountant, moved to the UK ten years ago from Mangalore in south-west India.

In Mangalore yesterday, her sister-in-law Celine Barboza said the family could not understand what had caused the ‘strong’ mother of two apparently to end her life.

‘We just cannot believe what has happened,’ she said.

‘She was a very strong person and couldn’t have taken this drastic step easily. We would like to get an answer.’

Another sister-in-law, Irene Barboza, said: ‘She used to call us very regularly and was like our fourth sister.

‘But she told no one in the family about the prank call that has been blamed for driving her to suicide.’

The nurse’s 49-year-old husband said he was ‘devastated’ by her death while her 14-year-daughter Lisha posted on Facebook ‘I miss you. I love you.’

They and her 16-year-old son Junal were said to be ‘shocked and inconsolable’. The family live in Southmead, Bristol, and Mrs Saldanha stayed in nurses’ quarters in London during her shifts at the hospital.

Her mother-in-law, 85-year-old Carmine Barboza, wept as she told of the moment she heard of Mrs Saldanha’s death from her son.

‘He was crying and couldn’t speak much,’ she said.

‘I want to know about the circumstances of her death and nobody is giving me an answer. She used to stay at the nurses’ quarters and go home to be with her children on her days off, so now I don’t know who will look after my grandchildren.’

She added that the family were desperate to bring Mrs Saldanha’s body back to India to perform the last rites in the Catholic tradition.
‘Nobody is telling me any information about her and whether her body is being brought to India.’

A neighbor said: ‘What these Australian guys did is not acceptable. Their prank has killed our beloved Jacintha. Her death should be blamed on them.’

VIDEO: DJ’s hold first interview with Channel 7 Australia following the tragedy 
Tributes: Flowers were left outside the nurses quarters at the King Edward VII hospital
Flowers were left outside the nurses quarters at the King Edward VII hospital
Poignant: Jacintha Saldanha was described as 'profoundly caring'
 Jacintha Saldanha was described as ‘profoundly caring’
Tragic: The grieving family of nurse Jacintha Saldanha who died in a suspected suicide have told of their devastation at her death. She is pictured centre, with son Junal and daughter Lisha
The grieving family of nurse Jacintha Saldanha who died in a suspected suicide have told of their devastation at her death. She is pictured centre, with son Junal and daughter Lisha
‘She must have been embarrassed and under a lot of mental trauma because of those two people, otherwise she wouldn’t have taken such an extreme step of killing herself.’

After visiting Mrs Saldanha’s family at their home, MP Keith Vaz said a memorial service was being planned for next week and the King Edward VII Hospital had set up a memorial fund in her name.

Although she was not blamed in any way for what happened, friends said Mrs Saldanha ‘took it very badly’ and was extremely ‘traumatised’.

Described as popular, quiet and ‘profoundly caring’, she is said to have made clear to her family the depth of her anxiety when the prank was broadcast.
The family of Benedict Barboza, pictured, found out about the death of Jacintha Saldanha when Benedict called last night in tears
Jacintha Saldanha’s Indian family, pictured, was informed about her death last night when her partner Benedict called in tears
The hospital’s chairman, Lord Glenarthur, has accused Sydney-based 2Day FM of ‘humiliating two dedicated and caring nurses’ and demanded that it review its editorial guidelines.

The station’s chairman, Max Moore-Wilton, described the events of the past few days as ‘tragic’, but added: ‘As we have said in our own statements, the outcome was unforeseeable and very regrettable.’

Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister, described the incident as a ‘terrible tragedy’.

The hospital has repeatedly stressed that Mrs Saldanha did not face any disciplinary action and it ‘was working hard to support her’ but the feeling that she had unintentionally broken the hospital rules, bringing shame on her and her employer, may well have pushed her into taking desperate action.

Her fellow victim of the prank, who has not been named, is also said to have been ‘incredibly upset’.

Yesterday a special Mass was said at St Vincent de Paul Presbytery in Southmead, just 200 yards from Mrs Saldanha’s home Father Tom Finnegan said: ‘She was a very caring wife, a very loving mother and a gentle friend and neighbor who regularly attended church here.

‘People are saddened – it is still all very raw. She was well known and well liked in the community and she will be a loss. She felt especially privileged to work in the hospital in London – everyone is deeply shocked and saddened.’
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Jacintha Saldanha transferred a prank call from two Australian DJs who found out intimate details about Kate Middleton who was staying at the hospital suffering from morning sickness
Jacintha Saldanha transferred a prank call from two Australian DJs who found out intimate details about Prince William’s wife Kate Middleton who was staying at the hospital suffering from morning sickness.


I feel so sad for the family of the nurse as well as for the DJ’s and their families.  What started out as a harmless prank that I can’t believe even worked, turned into at tragic incident. I hope people stop blaming the DJ’s.  You would think that there would have been impeccable phone security for the royal family. I hope everyone is able to heal.  This is something that should never happen again. Hopefully we all learn from this as a whole.  Some things that may start off as a joke, may not always end up that way. Just Sayin’
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