Father of BBC journalist who killed himself calls for 'bully' to be named - Press Gazette

Father of BBC journalist who killed himself calls for 'bully' to be named

The father of a BBC journalist who killed himself after complaining of harassment has said he would like his son’s ‘bully’ to be named.


Russell Joslin, a reporter at BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire, claimed he had been sexually harassed and bullied by his colleague.


His father Peter Joslin, a former senior police officer, said yesterday he could not understand why the woman complained about could not be named.


“I’m the longest serving police officer in this country – I was a police officer for 44 years and I cannot understand as to why that is so,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Victoria Derbyshire. “I assume that there must be reasons within the media that I don’t understand.”


The interviewer suggested there is a libel issue, but Joslin insisted there should be no problem because “it is the truth”.


He said: “We have evidence. You spoke about the tapes. There is evidence on there of exactly what happened and plenty of other evidence that would have supported his case against this individual.”


During the interview Derbyshire read out three voicemail messages sent to 50-year-old Joslin, which he complained about to the corporation. They were left after Joslin spurned his colleague's unwelcome advances.


The first voicemail read out said: “Thanks for abandoning me. Don’t ever, ever think of me as your f***ing mate again. Do what you have to do at the BBC because you are a loser on £27,000 a year but don’t ever encroach on me or my talent.”


The second said: “You are flaky, you are poor, you are weak. Don’t ever think of me as an equal again. I don’t want anything to do with you.”


And the third said: “Don’t ever, ever f***ing presume any friendship.”


The incidents are said to have taken place between 2005 and 2008. His father said that 11 days before his death, Joslin had been told that the BBC had not received a complaint he had previously made.


Last October, after seeing a woman complaining about claims of sexual harassment amid the Jimmy Savile scandal, he was said to be "black with rage".


Joslin, who had suffered from mental health issues, suffocated himself in hospital after walking in front of a bus three days previously.


According to the BBC, the coroner said there were many factors surrounding Joslin’s suicide – including work dissatisfaction.


Joslin’s father praised the BBC as a whole but said he was surprised there weren’t practices in place to help prevent the bullying his son had suffered.


He also called for the BBC staff who did not fully investigate his son’s complaints to be punished.


"What I would like to see is those people held responsible for the mistakes they made," he said.


"They're holding positions where perhaps they might not have learnt lessons and I wouldn't want that to happen to anyone else."


The National Union of Journalists after last week’s inquest criticised the BBC saying that its treatment had been a “significant factor” in his suicide.


The BBC said in a statement on Friday: "We apologised unreservedly at the time of the Granger Report at the way the BBC handled Russell’s concerns and we apologise again today to Russell’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.


"We have learnt lessons from this and we have made progress with the recommendations outlined in Lesley Granger’s Report but we recognise that this is an on-going process.


"The BBC would like to assure Russell’s family that we remain absolutely committed to implementing these improvements."



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