A male BBC reporter, Russell Joslin threw himself under a moving bus after accusing the corporation of covering up allegations that he was subjected to ”unwanted advances” by a female colleague, an inquest has revealed.
Joslin is said to have been ”absolutely furious” that the woman he complained about had confessed claims of sexual harassment in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. An inquest in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, heard that Mr Joslin, 50, died in hospital last October, three days after being struck by the moving bus.
He was said to have been been treated at a mental health unit in March last year. While presenting evidence to the inquest, Joslin’s father, Peter, said his son had become ”more and more concerned” about his alleged treatment by the unnamed woman”, the Telegraph of UK reporterd.
The deceased father had claimed that the female colleague had being putting pressure on his son since 2006 before the sorry incident took place.
”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, ” Peter told the inquest.
The Telegraph reported that in October 18 last year, a friend contacted the journalist’s father to warn him that his son had told him he was having suicidal thoughts.
“The following day the popular and well-liked reporter, who joined the BBC in 1997, suffered non-life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a bus, but was later found dead after being admitted to hospital in Warwick. A post-mortem examination found Mr Joslin died from asphyxiation after obstructing his own airway”, the newspaper reported.
The journalist’s family have said that his managers could have given him more help after he made allegations that he was sexually harassed by a woman. BBC wadded into matter later by appointing external consultant Lesley Granger to investigate the matter. Granger told the inquest Mr Joslin alleged that the colleague had become “very unpleasant” after he declined her advances during 2006.
“During April 2006, Mr Joslin claimed to have received a voicemail message in which threats were made. In March last year, the reporter had two conversations with a case manager and had expected that his claims would then appear in a report prepared for BBC management.
In reaching a verdict that Joslin took his own life, coroner Louise Hunt said “multiple factors” appeared to have affected him. “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 one of those factors can be split out. In my view they were all relevant and inter-played together, ” the coroner said.