Jacintha Saldanha’s suicide, believed to have been catalyzed by the actions of two 2DayFM radio DJs in Australia and a cruel prank they pulled involving the high-profile hospitalization of Kate Middleton, sparked worldwide outrage and calls to boycott and charge the media entities involved in the scandal.
Jacintha Saldanha was one of two nurses pranked by Mel Carnahan and Michael Christian, DJs who placed a call to the hospital purporting to be high-profile members of the Royal Family requesting information on the young Duchess’ condition. When the hoax hit the worldwide media, Saldanha was devastated, and, later, in work-provided accommodations just blocks from the hospital, the nurse hanged herself.
Jacintha Saldanha left behind a husband, two children, and three suicide notes explaining her tragic decision to end her life. In the aftermath, the 2DayFM presenters were threatened and pilloried in the press, on Twitter and Facebook, and forced off the air for their roles in the nurse’s suicide.
Last month during an inquest, it was revealed charges against Carnahan and Christian were being considered in the Jacintha Saldanha case. But it seems that, while their careers may be permanently impacted, the pranking pair will not face criminal repercussions for their hoax turned tragedy.
Adelaide Now reports that Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of special crime at the Crown Prosecution Service, confirmed that charges would not be pursued in relation to Jacintha Saldanha’s death.
“Having carefully reviewed the evidence currently available, we have concluded that there is no evidence to support a charge of manslaughter and that, although there is some evidence to warrant further investigation of offences under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the Communications Act 2003, no further investigation is required because any potential prosecution would not be in the public interest.”
Part of the decision not to prosecute in Saldanha’s death, McHaffie said, was the fact that it was impossible to extradite individuals from Australia under the potentially relevant offenses cited.