Jacintha Saldanha: Hoaxed nurse "died of shame": As backlash against phone prank DJs grows, brother of the victim says his sister would have…

Hoaxed nurse 'died of shame': As the backlash against phone prank DJs grows, victim's brother says she would have been devastatedJacintha Saldanha, 46, was found dead on Friday morning in nurses’ accommodation
Her brother Naveen described her as a 'proper and righteous person'
Husband, Ben Barboza, 49, said: ‘I am devastated with the tragic loss of my beloved
wife Jacintha in tragic circumstances’ 14-year-old daughter Lisha posted 'I love you' on Facebook
Friends said Mrs Saldanha ‘took it very badly' when prank was broadcast DJs Greig and Christian are expected to
be interviewed by Scotland Yard

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UPDATED:

08:14 GMT, 10 December 2012

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

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 neighbour 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

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Tributes: Flowers were left outside the nurses quarters at the King Edward VII hospital

Tributes: Flowers were left outside the nurses quarters at the King Edward VII hospital

Poignant: Jacintha Saldanha was described as 'profoundly caring'

Poignant: 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

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

‘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

Family grief: Jacintha Saldanha's Indian family, pictured, was informed about her death last night when her partner Benedict called in tears

Mrs Saldanha's Indian family spoke about their heartache today. Mother-in-law Carmine Barboza, 69, said: 'We just cannot believe what has happened'

In shock: Mrs Saldanha's Indian family spoke about their heartache today. Mother-in-law Carmine Barboza, 69, said: 'We just cannot believe what has happened'

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 neighbour
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.’

v

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

Tragedy: 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

A victim of today's culture of casual cruelty

/12/09/article-0-165F5D8B000005DC-851_634x422.jpg” width=”634″ height=”422″ alt=”2DayFM DJs Mel Greig, left, and Michael Christian, right, have been bombarded with abuse online since Jacintha Saldanha's death at King Edward VII hospital's lodgings was announced” class=”blkBorder” />

Backlash: 2DayFM DJs Mel Greig, left, and Michael Christian, right, have been bombarded with abuse online since Jacintha Saldanha's death at King Edward VII hospital's lodgings was announced

Now that an innocent woman is dead,
her family bereaved and bewildered, and the whole world knows the story –
the thoughtless joke doesn’t seem funny at all, least of all to the
shamed perpetrators.

To me, it never was. From the moment I
heard their silly, adolescent giggles and the poor nurses’ polite
replies, I saw the prank as another example of the casual, tacky,
thoughtless cruelty that has infected popular culture like a plague – on
radio, on television and increasingly on Twitter and other social media
outlets.

australian djs breakdown

Had Jacintha Saldanha not succumbed to
shame and misery (and we have no way of knowing what else was happening
in her life) I would always despise the notion that it’s acceptable to
call a hospital to invade the privacy of any patient, let alone an
expectant young mother in distress. What on Earth have we come to

Let’s be very clear. The King Edward
VII Hospital should have had a protocol so securely in place it would
have been impossible for this to happen.

The fact that Jacintha Saldanha
was not a native English speaker would have made it less likely that
she would pick up the hopeless accents used by Greig and Christian, but
in any case there should always be a system of checks and balances, and
all the more so when the patient is high-profile.

It is true, also, that the two DJs –
who have now gone into hiding after being subjected to a barrage of
vilification just as nasty as their original stunt – couldn’t possibly
have predicted that their trick would lead to the death of a good woman
who felt (no matter how irrationally) responsible for letting her
hospital and colleagues down. Call them callow, stupid, irreverent, if
you like, but they were not wicked.

Yet while this tragedy was not foreseeable, it was avoidable. For surely an incident like this has been waiting to happen.

The Victorians paid to gawp at people
with deformities and disabilities; in our day TV turned the freak show
into an even more popular form of entertainment, taking cruelty and
mockery right into people’s sitting rooms, whether through hidden camera
shows that made the likes of Jeremy Beadle and Dom Joly into household
names or in the routine humiliations meted out to (often mentally
fragile) contestants on Big Brother or I’m A Celebrity.

That very familiarity means that
broadcasters have felt the need to be ever more sensational, to court
controversy, to ‘up the ante’ all the time, regardless of the potential
consequences.

Patrol: Police officers outside King Edward VII hospital in London

Patrol: Police officers outside King Edward VII hospital in London

Those two DJs were willing and able to
indulge in the bullying of an unsuspecting victim because exploiting
the naivety of innocent victims is now the accepted dialect of light
entertainment right across the world.

Before you blame the crass taste of
Aussie presenters, remember it was only weeks ago that ITV set up a
stunt on I’m a Celebrity in which the actress Charlie Brooks was left
weeping after she was denied the right to see her seven-year-old
daughter for failing to win a jungle challenge, as the little girl hid
behind a set door.

The truth is, we have become so inured
to a culture of hard-edged cleverness that it wouldn’t have occurred to
Mel Greig or Michael Christian to stop, to think for a moment – and
feel shamed – any more than it occurred to ITV that it was wrong to
exploit a seven-year-old’s distress to chase ratings.

At least Charlie Brooks must have
signed a consent form at some stage. Not so Jacintha Saldanha. Why then
did the radio station’s lawyers allow the tapes to be broadcast For the
very same reason that the BBC turned a blind eye to the crude phone
call made by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross to Andrew Sachs, sniggering
about his granddaughter’s sex life. Because no single executive had the
taste, judgment or maturity to realise that this was totally
unacceptable behaviour. Nobody, from the immature broadcasters to the
worldly men and women in charge, had the wisdom or decency to say: ‘Hang
on, this isn’t funny, it’s wrong.’

Thus casual cruelty is dished up as
prime-time entertainment with as much callous indifference as the Romans
showed to the Christians and lions fighting to the death in their
arenas.

What’s more, it’s getting worse, as
new media challenges the old for an audience. Sometimes Twitter seems as
brutal as a bearpit, as trolls seek out their prey to persecute. And
unlike the mainstream media, the internet has given bullies the cloak of
anonymity to hide behind.

John Lofthouse, right, the Chief Executive of King Edward VII hospital and Lord Glenarthur, second right, second right, the hospital's Chairman, deliver a statement to the media outside the hospital following the death of the nurse

Scrum: John Lofthouse, right, the Chief Executive of King Edward VII hospital and Lord Glenarthur, second right, the hospital's Chairman, deliver a statement to the media outside the hospital following the death of the nurse

No wonder Michael Christian and Mel
Greig rushed in to pull a stunt which actually resulted in a vulnerable
woman, hitherto proud of her professional standards, being the brunt of
hilarity all around the world. In a crowded market, they wanted to stand
out; to make a name for themselves. And oh, how they bragged about
their little coup over the ensuing days, until horror intruded on their
glee.

The public must take its share of
blame too. For how many of those people who have tweeted their outrage,
accusing the pair of having ‘blood on their hands’ (and worse) had a
good laugh when they first heard the ludicrous faux-Brit accents

It is simply not enough to shrug the shoulders and say: ‘Well, no one could have seen it ending in suicide.’

The Law of Unintended Consequences is
known to sociologists and economists and used as a warning that (to
quote one definition) ‘an intervention in a complex system tends to
create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes’. Yes, indeed.

In this dreadful story the
‘intervention’ was just another example of the shameless rush to
sensationalism that has trivialised modern broadcasting in all its forms
– that amoral belief that ‘anything goes’ which disguises the
humiliation of others as light-hearted fun.

The ‘complex system’ is the human
personality, which is always unpredictable, always vulnerable. And the
terrible ‘undesirable outcome’ was the unnecessary death of an innocent
woman, who would almost certainly be alive today if those who should
have known better had shown restraint.

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or click here for details

VIDEO: Heartbroken Jacintha Saldanha's family talk about their loss

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