The grieving family of a BBC radio reporter who killed himself by stuffing a rag down his throat yhave blamed Corporation bosses for failing to stop his death.
Tragic Russell Joslin, 50, died on Monday afternoon after he was admitted to a mental health hospital following a failed suicide bid two days earlier.
The popular reporter had worked for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire since the mid-90s but yesterday his devastated family claimed he had been harassed by a female colleague.
His father, former chief constable of Warwickshire Police Peter Joslin, 78, who served for 44 years and was the UK’s longest serving police chief, called for an inquiry into Russell’s death.
Speaking from the family home in Kenilworth, Warks., Mr Joslin said: “I do blame the BBC for Russell’s death.
“I believe he was not listened to when he flagged up his concerns and was repeatedly ignored by his bosses.
“His working conditions at the BBC, where he had worked happily for many years, had become intolerable.
“On Saturday morning he walked out in front of a bus in Kenilworth. He was knocked down and suffered a nasty gash on his arm and was taken to hospital.
“He was admitted into a psychiatric hospital later that day which specialises in people who are at high risk of committing suicide and he was checked every 15 minutes.
“We visited him on Sunday afternoon and he had changed but we left him. Sometime after we left him he put something down his throat and suffocated.
“He was found unconscious and rushed back to hospital, in the ambulance they re-started his heart but he never regained consciousness and we were told if he did survive it was unlikely he would fully recover.
“He finally died on Monday at 1.30pm.
“There are many issues surrounding, his treatment at the BBC was certainly a contributory factor as was the care at St Michael’s hospital.”
According to the family, Russell was harassed by a female colleague at the BBC after he spurned her advances.
Bachelor Russell had spent three months off work through stress and anxiety but had recently returned two days a week.
Mr Joslin said: “He had a friendship with her but she calculated it was more than it was.
“Russell complained to the BBC about the attention he was getting but was ignored.
“He wanted to move to a different station with the BBC but was told he couldn’t do that until he was working full time.
“He had time off earlier this year but to me, the BBC ignored his concerns and refused to listen to him.”
Mr Joslin, who also has a grown-up son, Stephen, 48, and daughter Angela, 39, said: “He took his work very seriously and this year for the first time I noticed he was very unhappy at work. We noticed a change in his demeanour.
“As a family we would welcome an investigation because there are certain things Russell was unhappy about, and if there is something that needs to be looked at, his employers should take it seriously so that we can establish ourselves what has happened.”
Russell’s sister Angela added: “He did the job that he did because he liked to talk to people. His working life was very much a part of his personality.
“He loved all the old characters and pubs in Kenilworth and he was interested in people’s stories.”
The inquest into Mr Joslin’s death heard today how the popular BBC radio presenter died of ‘asphyxiation’ as a result of a ‘plastic bag in an airway’.
The short 30-second hearing at Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington Spa, Warks., was opened and adjourned by coroner Sean McGovern.
Coroners officer Allison Hunt confirmed Mr Joslin was aged 50 when he died and said he lived in Kenilworth, Warks., at the time of his death.
She said: “The deceased sir, is Russell Vincent Joslin.
“He was aged 50. His date of birth was 02/11/61.
“There has been a post-mortem and preliminary results say he died of asphyxiation and a plastic bag in an airway.”
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