The two DJs who made the prank call being blamed for the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha were yesterday on suicide watch following a huge worldwide backlash.
Australians Mel Greig and Michael Christian were both receiving “medical assistance” after bosses raised concerns for their “physical and emotional well-being”. The pair were moved into hiding in the early hours of Saturday morning after receiving terrifying online death threats.
And a spokesman for Austereo, the firm which owns under-fire station 2Day FM, admitted, “We have real, genuine concerns for their well-being and state of mind.”
Greig and Christian provoked a worldwide storm following the discovery of mum-of-two Jacintha’s body on Friday morning. She is believed to have committed suicide.
Three days earlier, they tricked the Indian-born nurse into putting their prank call through to Kate’s ward at the King Edward VII’s Hospital, in London, leading to the revelation of confidential information about her condition.
Both DJs have deleted their Twitter accounts after hundreds of furious messages accused them of having “blood on their hands”. Neighbours expressed their anger at Greig and Christian.
Mary Atwell said: “Both DJs should be sacked. They should never have been allowed to do what they did. They are definitely responsible for this tragedy. She would be alive today if they hadn’t made that call.”
Lord Glenarthur, governor at the King Edward VII’s Hospital, slammed 2Day FM for its “appalling” behaviour.
In a letter addressed to Max Moore-Wilton, chairman of Austereo, Lord Glenarthur described the consequences of the call as “tragic beyond words”.
He wrote: “I am writing to protest in the strongest possible terms about the hoax call made from your radio station 2Day FM. It was extremely foolish of your presenters even to consider trying to lie their way through to one of our patients. To discover... the call had been pre-recorded and the decision to transmit approved by your station’s management was truly appalling.
The pranksters could even face extradition on a charge of manslaughter.