Nurse death: Hundreds attend funeral of Jacintha Saldanha

13:09 17 December 2012

Jacintha Saldanha was found dead. Picture: AP Photo/Saldanha family

Jacintha Saldanha was found dead. Picture: AP Photo/Saldanha family

Mourners gathered in India today for the funeral of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who found dead after answering a prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was treated for morning sickness.

Friends and family paid their respects to the 46-year-old, during a simple ceremony in Shirva, some 30 miles north of Mangalore on the south-west coast.

Earlier, crowds lined the roads close to the Catholic church to pay their respects while relatives attended a private prayer ceremony at her home.

Ms Saldanha, a mother-of-two, was found hanging in her nurses’ quarters at Marylebone’s King Edward VII’s Hospital by a colleague and a security guard on December 7.

It came after she transferred a call from two Australian DJs pretending to be the Queen and Prince of Wales, to a colleague who described in detail the Duchess’s condition during her hospital stay.

Her children, Junal, 16, and Lisha, 14, have described the “unfillable void” left in their lives by their mother’s death.

Today her husband Benedict Barboza accompanied a casket carrying her body into Our Lady of Health Church at around 4pm local time, after journeying back to the family’s home-town for the funeral.

Mr Barboza was seen consoling his weeping daughter during the burial service in which she scattered earth on her mother’s grave.

Earlier, relatives carried the coffin through the cemetery before Mr Barboza, flanked by his two children, watched as it was lowered into the ground.

He held them both in a tight embrace as Lisha broke down in tears.

Authorities in India are understood to have made extensive arrangements - upping security and setting up barricades - to accommodate crowds of mourners touched by Ms Saldanha’s death.

Jesuit priest Fr Richard Rego, who has worked in the region for more than a decade, said the close-knit town had been left in shock.

“The local community were jolted,” he said. “They are now coming together to support the family.”

Mr Barboza is understood to be spending Christmas with his family in Shirva as he comes to terms with his wife’s death.

Ms Saldanha left two notes in her room and had marks on her wrist when her body was discovered, Westminster Coroner’s Court in London heard on Thursday.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Reading in 30 degree heat on the Serpentine yesterday (Picture: PA images)

London will be hotter than Athens and Barcelona today as temperatures are set to hit 35 degrees, leading to urgent health warnings and a AA prediction that our roads could melt.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Burst pipe shoots a jet of water into the air (Picture: Miklos Kiss)

A mains pipe burst in Tooting, south London this morning blasting a jet of water 50ft into the air on the hottest day of the year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Snaresbrook Crown Court (Photo: John Stillwell/PA)

A Queen’s Park man who kidnapped a drug dealer and threatened to cut off his testicles in a ‘Scarface’ sting has been jailed for 14 years.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Police were called to reports of ahooting on Green Lane in Goodmayes (Photo: Google StreetView)

Police have been called to reports of a man shot in Goodmayes this morning.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Jeff Porter was driving a Circle Line train behind the one that was bombed on 7/7 10 years ago (Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Next week marks a decade since the London 7/7 bombings which claimed the lives of 52 victims and injured more than 700 others. Anna Silverman meets Jeff Porter, a Tube driver who was driving behind the Circle line train that was targeted in the Edgware Road attack.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more