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'There are bullets with your name on': Radio station bosses behind royal nurse hoax call hire round-the-clock guards and staff are moved into safe-houses
Michael Christian told there are 'bullets out there with your name on'Senior managers of 2Day FM's parent company given 24-hour protectionA dozen members of staff have been moved into hotelsLetter believed to come from South Australia
17:29 GMT, 13 December 2012
Michael Christian has been mentioned specifically in one threat that includes mention of a shotgun
Staff at the radio station behind the hoax call to the Duchess of Cambridge's hospital have been forced into safe houses, it has been revealed.
Managers at Southern Cross Austereo – the parent company of 2Day FM – have recruited 24-bodyguards for their protection and police are investigation death threats.
One of the threats arrived yesterday is alleged to specifically target DJ Michael Christian saying there are 'bullets out there with your name on' and further threats involving a shotgun.
According to news.com.au, 10 senior staff have now got personal protection costing $75,000 a week and around 12 staff have been moved to hotels.
The threat against Christian is believed to have originated from South Australia and was delivered to the wrong address.
The threats come after Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found dead last Friday by a colleague and security guard.
At the opening of her inquest at Westminster Coroners' Court it was revealed that the mother-of-two from Bristol was found hanging and there were marks on her wrists.
Keith Vaz, who has been representing Ms Saldanha's family said they did not go to today's inquest hearing because they were 'very, very upset', but wanted 'to have all the facts'.
Mr Vaz has written on behalf of the family to Rhys Holleran, chief executive of Southern Cross Austereo but revealed he is yet to write back.
The MP said he had relayed what the coroner said to the family today and insisted they were 'very grateful to the
coroner's officers and grateful to police' because they 'want to have all the facts'
But he added: 'I have not received a
response (to my letter) so I think we will need him to respond.
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Mel Greig, pictured at different events last year, is believed to be one of the staff being kept in a safe-house
'If you write a letter
and you have questions, you really want answers, and that is all the
family has wanted – the full facts – as you would want in a circumstance
Two notes were found in the room of
Indian-born Mrs Saldanha, who worked at the King Edward VII Hospital in
Marylebone, central London, treating Kate, 30, and another was among her
Detective Chief Inspector James Harman
said: ‘On Friday 7 December Jacintha Saldanha was found by a colleague
and a member of security staff. Sadly she was found hanging.
‘There was also injuries to her wrist.
The London Ambulance Service was called to the scene. At this time
there are no suspicious circumstances.’
Family support: MP Keith Vaz addresses the media outside Westminster Coroner's Court following a hearing
Reporters and cameramen: A policeman stands on duty outside as media gather at Westminster Coroner's Court where the initial inquest into nurse Jacintha Saldanha's death is being opened, in London today
MASS FOR JACINTHA SALDANHA
A mass will be held on Saturday for Ms Saldanha at London's Westminster Cathedral.
mass will be offered 'for the repose of the soul of Jacintha and her
grieving family', a spokesman for Westminster Cathedral said.
'We would hope to hold a more formal memorial after the inquest has concluded.'
She was on the reception desk when
answering a call from Australian 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig, 30, and
Michael Christian, 25, who were pretending to be the Queen and
The registered nurse and night sister
then passed them on to a second nurse on Kate's ward, who was duped into
giving out details of her medical condition.
Her body was identified by her husband
Benedict Barboza, 49, an NHS accountant, on Tuesday. Police
are now looking at emails Ms Saldanha had sent in the lead up to her
DCI Harman added that he was in touch
with colleagues in Australian at the New South Wales police force so
they could provide the best evidence to be put before the inquest.
Westminster Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox adjourned the inquest until March 26 so further enquiries can be carried out.
She added: ‘I pass my sympathies on to
the colleagues, family and all those who have been touched by this
terrible and tragic death.’
Condolences: Flowers and personal messages
(right) are pictured outside the King Edward VII Hospital apartments
where Jacintha Saldanha (left) was found dead in central London last
Mr Vaz said outside court: 'As you know, they are very, very upset and they are grieving and that is why they have not come this morning, it is a very long journey for them.
'I have spoken to them and I have relayed what the coroner has said. They are very grateful to the coroner's officers and grateful to police.
'They want to have all the facts. They are a wonderful family and they are grief stricken and need time to grieve.'
Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday that ‘many lessons’ must be learned from the tragedy.
He told MPs: ‘She clearly loved her
job, loved her work, cared deeply about the health of her patients and
what has happened is a complete tragedy. There will be many lessons that
need to be learned.’
A post-mortem examination was held earlier this week on the body of Ms Saldanha, who was the first unwitting
member of staff at the King Edward VII Hospital, where the
Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for acute morning sickness, to
take the call made by the two Australian DJs.
Hearing: Members of the media gather outside Westminster Coroner's Court in central London where the inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldana is being held
She passed them on to a second nurse on Kate's ward, who was then duped into giving out details of her medical condition
Family spokesman, Mr Vaz, said earlier this week that Ms
Saldanha's family were demanding answers from the hospital about the
circumstances that led to her death.
Although bosses at the hospital in
Marylebone have said they will conduct internal inquiries, the nurse's
family – Mr Barboza, 49, and children Junal, 17, and Lisha, 14 –
'want to know everything'.
Mr Vaz, who has met hospital chairman
Lord Glenarthur to demand a full inquiry, said: 'What the chairman of
the hospital said to me was that there are inquiries going on in the
'That is not sufficient for the family. There are unexplained
circumstances. The family want to know everything. All the facts, fully
Mr Vaz added: 'The hospital needs to
be more pro-active, a full inquiry is needed and the family need to be
included in that.
'They are a lovely close-knit family, a Catholic family
who will be spending their first Christmas without their mother, and
for Ben, without his wife.'
Mr Vaz has also written to Mr Holleran, claiming that his company has yet to make any direct contact with Ms Saldanha's family.
Together: Mr Barboza (centre) at the Houses of Parliament with Lisha and Junal to meet with Mr Vaz (right)
The MP, who is chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, conceded there had been a public apology for the incident and its consequences through the media.
But he wrote: ‘I am concerned and disappointed that Southern Cross Austereo appears to have not taken any steps to assist the family.
‘There has been no written apology, no
request for a meeting with the family and no attempt to travel to the
United Kingdom to express contrition.’
Mr Barboza, an NHS accountant, and his
children live in Bristol.
Mrs Saldanha, whose body was found in the
hospital's staff accommodation she used during the week, returned to the
family home at weekends.
She had been expected home as usual
last Friday when police broke the news of her death.
Mr Vaz said: 'They
[the family] were in the dark about the hoax call. They hadn't watched
the news or seen anything about it. They didn't know they were involved
until after Jacintha's death.'
A St James's Palace spokesman stressed
it did not complain about the hoax call, saying: 'On the contrary, we
offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses and hospital
AUSTRALIA MEDIA WATCHDOG LAUNCHES INQUIRY INTO RADIO HOAX
/12/13/article-2247374-167F1F42000005DC-882_304x417.jpg” width=”304″ height=”417″ alt=” Mel Greig and sister Alana Munday in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia – 06 Apr 2011″ class=”blkBorder” />
Presenter: 2Day FM DJ Mel Greig is pictured (right in left photo) with her sister Alana Munday (left in left) in Adelaide in April 2011 – and (right) at Oakbank Racecourse in South Australia in the same month
authority’s chairman, Mr Chris Chapman, said it would be examining
‘whether the licensee has complied with its broadcasting obligations.’
Saldanha took her life just days after receiving a hoax phone call at
London’s King Edward VII hospital from Sydney DJs Mel Greig and Michael
another nurse in the ward where Kate Middleton was being treated for
morning sickness believed they were talking to the Queen and Prince
Charles, despite the unimpressive attempts by the DJs to imitate the
Austero has repeatedly apologised for the ‘tragic, regrettable death’ of
the nurse and has committed at least $500,000 (326,000) to a memorial
fund for her family, the media watchdog has shown its determination to
dig deeper into the scandal.
It is expected to demand who was working at the time the hoax was perpetrated and who approved it.
Those who will be questioned, it is understood, will be producers and lawyers who were on duty, or on call, at the time.
has been in damage control ever since the death of nurse Saldanha,
including permitting the two DJs to appear on Australian tv and, amid
their tears, express their sorrow for the tragic consequences of their
will be referring heavily to the radio broadcasting code, particular a
part which states that it is a breach to record a person in
conversation, and also air it, without their knowledge.
Section 6.1 of the code states that ‘a licensee must not broadcast the
words of an identifiable person unless that person has been informed in
advance or a reasonable person would be aware that the words may be
adds that there must not be a broadcast unless, ‘in the case of words
which have been recorded without the knowledge of the person, that
person has subsequently, but prior to the broadcast, expressed consent
to the broadcast of the word.’
station’s parent company has said it attempted to contact the hospital
five times following the hoax call to discuss it, but had not been able
to speak to anyone.
company has not explained why it still went to air with the recording
even though it had not been able to reach anyone at the hospital
following the prank.
is understood the hospital has written to Austereo demanding to know
how it has arrived at a figure of $500,000 to be given to the nurse’s
family – and has given it until tomorrow to reply.
VIDEO: 'The family still haven't had an apology': Keith Vaz MP speaks outside nurse inquest
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