Russell Joslin worked as a reporter for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire before his death (Family Handout)
Russell Joslin worked as a reporter for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire before his death (Family Handout)

Police are to investigate claims a BBC reporter killed himself after being sexually harassed and bullied by a female colleague at work.

Russell Joslin, 50, died after suffocating himself with a plastic bag on 22 October having worked as a reporter for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.

Joslin was being treated at a psychiatric unit after failing to commit suicide by jumping in front of a bus two days earlier.

His family claim the Corporation ignored his allegations that he was being harassed by a unnamed female colleague at work after he spurned her sexual advances, which ultimately led to his death.

Warwickshire Police have now confirmed Joslin's father, Peter, a former chief constable who led the force for 44 years, has asked to look into the claims he was harassed by the woman.

The BBC said an external person will lead an inquiry into how complaints made by Joslin were handled. The chosen person will be named at a later date.

The woman, who is believed to still work at the BBC, is alleged to have sent Joslin abusive answer phone messages in which she accused him of being '"flaky" and a "loser" following an argument at a restaurant in 2007.

Text messages revealed at the coroner's inquest showed the 50-year-old saying his complaints against the female colleague had been ignored.

One text read: "Who could possibly believe [redacted] are sexual predators and the corporation sweeps allegations under carpet.

"I told you the [name redacted] story? How she pestered me endlessly. I made a complaint. Ignored."

A spokesman for Warwickshire Police said: "We can confirm that Warwickshire Police is assisting the coroner in establishing the circumstances of Mr Joslin's death, including gathering information from the family which is normal practice in these matters.

"As such we are working with, and will be led by, the coroner who is responsible for conducting an inquest into the circumstances of Mr Joslin's death."

In a statement, his family added: "This is what Russell would have wanted. It is the first step towards justice for Russell."

Peter Joslin, 78, previously said: "There is some evidence to support accusations that Russell was being sexually harassed or bullied.

"I am shocked to discover the apparent attitudes of certain individuals to their employees at the BBC.

"I believe he was ignored by his bosses, despite outlining his concerns about the particular staff member he claimed had sexually harassed him.

"He enjoyed his work at the BBC but in recent years the situation had become intolerable for him there."

A statement by the BBC said: "Our thoughts and condolences are with Russell Joslin's family at this sad time.

"The BBC is committed to working constructively with the family to ensure that their concerns are vigorously addressed."

An inquest into his death revealed Joslin he died of asphyxiation. His funeral is due to take place in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.