UK hospital hoax nurse kills herself

2012-12-07 18:15

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London - A staff member at a hospital which treated Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine was found dead in a suspected suicide on Friday, days after being duped by a hoax call from an Australian radio station, reports said.

British police confirmed that they were investigating the "unexplained death" of a woman whose body was discovered at a property near the King Edward VII hospital in central London.

Several British newspapers reported the death of a staff member but there were conflicting reports as to what role the woman had at the hospital.

In what it billed as the "biggest royal prank ever", two presenters from Sydney's 2Day FM station called the hospital on Monday pretending to be Queen Elizabeth II and William's father Prince Charles.

They asked to speak to the former Kate Middleton and a hospital receptionist then put them through to a nurse who gave the presenters private details of the Duchess of Cambridge's severe morning sickness.

The Daily Mail newspaper quoted an unidentified source as saying that the woman appeared to have killed herself at an address just metres away from the hospital.

Unexplained death

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: "Police were called at 09:25 this morning to reports of a woman unconscious at an address in Weymouth Street, W1.

"London Ambulance Service attended and a woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Inquiries continue to establish the circumstances of the incident. The death is being treated as unexplained."

A source in the emergency serices told AFP that while the death was being treated as unexplained it was not thought to be suspicious.

Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian said sorry earlier this week for the call, even as the station was milking the publicity for it.

"We were very surprised that our call was put through. We thought we'd be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents," the presenters said in a statement.

"We're very sorry if we've caused any issues and we're glad to hear that Kate is doing well."

Kate was admitted to hospital on Monday with acute morning sickness and left on Thursday, saying she was feeling much better.

Her admission to hospital was the first the world knew of her pregnancy. It will be the couple's first child and will be third in line to the British throne after Charles and William.

Read more on:    prince william  |  kate middleton  |  uk
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