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Death of BBC reporter to be probed by outside party

The BBC has appointed an "external professional" to oversee an investigation into claims that complaints made by a West Midlands journalist who apparently killed himself were not handled appropriately.

The family of Russell Joslin, a BBC Coventry and Warwickshire reporter, claim his managers could have given him more help after the journalist made allegations that he was sexually harassed by a female colleague.

The woman strenuously denies the allegations and said there was never a complaint made against her, according to BBC News.

But Joslin's father, Peter, said his son should have had more help from senior staff, and said the complaints against the woman stretched back to 2007.

Joslin, 50, died in Warwick Hospital on October 22 after being hit by a bus three days previously. After being taken to the hospital, he was admitted to nearby psychiatric hospital St Michael's before being readmitted to Warwick as an emergency patient. A post-mortem examination found Joslin died from asphyxiation.

It is believed that the journalist was suffering from mental health problems over the last six months. It was reported that he had been off work for a similar period and had recently returned to work two days a week.

A BBC spokeswoman said an "external professional" would oversee an investigation into Joslin's death.

She said: "Our thoughts and condolences are with Russell Joslin's family at this sad time. This is a difficult time for everyone who knew him. The BBC is committed to working constructively with the family to ensure that their concerns are vigorously addressed.

"Whilst we cannot comment on specific details, the BBC is committed to working constructively with the family to ensure that their concerns are vigorously addressed.

"What we can say is that we are undertaking an investigation overseen by an external professional to establish the facts about how any complaints made by Russell were reported and how the BBC acted on them. We will also co-operate fully with the coroner's inquest which is charged with determining the cause of Russell's death and will consider its findings carefully."

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