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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019

Royal hospital radio prank by Australian station was against the law

The station should not have broadcast the prank according to the country’s High Court.

Press outside the hospital after the birth of Prince George.
Press outside the hospital after the birth of Prince George.
Image: Dominic Lipinski

AN AUSTRALIAN RADIO station broke the law by broadcasting a prank involving a hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.

ABC News reports that the Australian High Court has paved the way for 2Day FM to face serious penalties after the December 2012 prank.

Two DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig, made the phone call to London’s King Edward VII Hospital pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles inquiring about the health of Prince William’s pregnant wife.

They were given information about Kate Middleton’s condition including the acute morning sickness she was suffering from.

The hospital nurse who answered the phone to the DJs and passed the call onto a colleague died by suicide a number of days later.

Australia’s media watchdog had earlier ruled that the station broke the law by broadcasting the prank without the consent of the other party.

The station successfully appealed this decision to a Federal Court arguing that the watchdog did not have the authority to make decisions about criminal breaches.

The Australian High Court has now overturned that decision.

Read: Australian DJ involved in prank call to Kate’s hospital back on air >

Read: Australian media watchdog opens probe into royal prank station >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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