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Family 'shattered' as Royal hoax nurse laid to rest

Published: 9:51AM Tuesday December 18, 2012 Source: ONE News

The family and friends of the nurse who died after being duped by a hoax phone call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated have gathered for her funeral.

Around 2000 mourners packed a church in the town of Shirva, India, as the body of Jacintha Saldanha was laid to rest. She was then buried in a grave marked by a simple black cross.

Saldanha was found dead in her nurses quarters days after she took the call from two Australian radio hosts posing as the Queen and Prince Charles. She transferred the call to another nurse on the ward where Duchess Catherine was being treated for acute morning sickness, where private details of her condition were released.

In a statement read by a family friend after the funeral, widower Benedict Barboza and the couple's two teenage children spoke of their grief at the loss of their wife and mother.

"The events of the last week have shattered our lives and we barely have any strength to grieve," the statement said.

"The incidents leading to this tragedy are being investigated by the London Metropolitan Police and they have assured us of a full and fair investigation."

Barboza, Junal, 16, and Lisha, 14, were joined by relatives and local residents for the Catholic service in the southwestern state of Karnataka.

The devastated father hugged his grieving children tightly as Saldanha's coffin was lowered into the grave.

Saldanha's body was discovered in her room in the staff accommodation of the private King Edward VII hospital in London on December 7, within days of the prank call from 2DayFM radio's Michael Christian and Mel Greig.

An inquest last week heard that the nurse had left three suicide notes, one of which is said to criticise her employers.

Reports have claimed she felt under pressure from the hospital after the prank call, and that she had been in a separate "personal disagreement" with a colleague, which she felt had not been handled appropriately by management.

The exclusive hospital has defended itself, saying it offered support to Saldanha, and stressed that she had not been disciplined for transferring the call, which it called a "cruel trick".