BBC Journalist Suffocated Himself After he Accused the BBC of ‘covering up after complaints he was sexually harassed by a female colleague’

BBC Journalist Suffocated Himself After he Accused the BBC of ‘covering up after complaints he was sexually harassed by a female colleague’

A BBC journalist suffocated himself through fear of his career being over after he made a sexual harassment complaint against a female colleague an inquest heard.
Mr Russell Joslin 50 accused the BBC of covering up the allegations of ‘unwanted advances’ the coroner was told.
Mr Joslin who worked for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio was said to be “absolutely furious” that the woman he had made a complaint about had made sexual harassment claims just after the Jimmy Savile scandal broke.
The inquest in Lemington Spa Warwickshire heard that Mr Joslin suffocated himself in hospital last October – three days after being hit by a bus in a previous suicide attempted it was claimed.
Mr Joslin had received treatment from a mental health unit in March 2012 from which his father told the inquest that he had made a quick recovery.
Mr Joslin’s father Peter gave evidence to the inquest and said that his son had become ‘more and more concerned’ about the alleged treatment by the unnamed woman.
Mr Joslin who is a former chief constable of Warwickshire Police claimed the colleague had put pressure on his son since 2006.
His father told the inquest: ‘She threatened him that he would never work again or never get any higher.
‘It did cause him a lot of problems. It became so important at the end in the final few days.
‘He became very very concerned about the way the individual concerned was treating him and making his life so difficult.’
On October 18 last year Russell’s friend contacted Russell’s father to tell him that he had been having suicidal thoughts.
The next day the reporter who joined the BBC in 1997 was hit by a bus and suffered non threatening injuries and was later found dead after being admitted to hospital in Warwick.
Coroner Louise Hunt recorded the verdict that Mr Joslin took his own life after ‘multiple factors’ appeared to have affected him.
The coroner said: ‘We know from the medical evidence that Russell was paranoid.
‘He had had a lack of sleep there was a lack of career progression and he was frustrated with the situation with the colleague.
‘I don’t think of those factors can be split out. In my view they were all relevant and interplayed together.’
The BBC gave Mr Joslin’s family an apology after a report showed that the way the corporation handled the complaints was ‘not good enough’.
It also reported criticism of the female colleague who cannot be named for legal reasons after others described her as a ‘strong and dominating personality’ who ‘created an atmosphere of intimidation’
The colleague who was referred to as ‘colleague A’ was allegedly ‘very difficult to work with’ and ‘managers scared to confront her’.
The court heard how Mr Joslin was constantly paranoid people were watching him and told one of the nurses that he thought journalists were in the bed of his ward.
Claire Lennox a registered mental health nurse who discovered Mr Joslin following his death said that he often thought that he was being watched by journalists and he felt ‘like he was on The Truman Show.’
She told the inquest that he said he did not want to die and did not feel hopelessness. He said that he felt like he was in a game.
The claims that were made by Mr Joslin’s family following his death were a catalyst to an investigation which was led by external consultant Lesley Granger who worked for the BBC until 2008.
After the publication of her report in March this year the BBC admitted some aspects of how they handled Mr Joslin’s complaints were ‘not good enough’.
They outlined factors that made it difficult to speak out such as ‘workplace culture’.
A post-mortem examination showed that Mr Joslin had died from asphyxiation after obstructing his own airway.
Mr Joslin’s family claimed that his managers could have helped him more after he made his sexual harassment complaints.
His claims sparked the investigation.
Ms Granger told the inquest that Mr Joslin had alleged that colleague A had become ‘very unpleasant’ after he denied her advances in 2006.
In April that year Mr Joslin said that he had been left a voicemail message where threats were made.
In March 2012 Mr Joslin spoke to his case manager twice and expected that his claims would have been followed up and would have appeared in a report prepared for BBC management.
No allegations were put against Mr Joslin’s colleague by his case manager which the case manager put down to a ‘misunderstanding’.
In October last year the inquest heard that Mr Joslin arranged another meeting he left the meeting ‘thinking there was some sort of cover-up going on’.
Despite the investigation being commissioned by the corporation they found no evidence of any efforts to cover up the allegations it did conclude that the handling of the complaints was ‘not good enough’.

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