Rape survivor abused by a running coach comes to a tragic end in Sydney

A British survivor of a rape who inspired a BBC documentary after helping to convict her pedophile running coach has tragically died at her home in Sydney, Australia.

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster confirmed that her friend Katie – whose last name was not given – was found dead on Sunday.

The athlete’s family is “completely distraught and just want to bring her back to put her to rest,” Charlie said.

She said Katie’s heartbroken mother Sue was told by police that her daughter’s body had been found after she took her own life.

“Katie was a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend – with a cheeky sense of humour, a determined manner and a wink,” she said.

Charlie paid tribute to her “brave and strong” friend in a post on Twitter.

“I am so sad, hurt and heartbroken that Katie sadly passed away,” she wrote.

“Katie is my girlfriend, was part of my running group which I made my BBC documentary Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach about. Katie committed suicide.”

Charlie, 40, tells how she and Katie met when they were kids at a running club in Sheffield – and soon became best friends.

But not everything was as it seemed.

In 2021, Charlie made a stunning BBC documentary about how the club’s respected manager – Paul North – groomed her and subjected her to horrific sexual assaults, The Sun reports.

She revealed Katie was also abused by North – and bravely faced him in court to testify against him and put him behind bars.

“For Katie, the pain was just too great, her mental health was declining and she took her own life in a devastating way,” Charlie said on a GoFundMe page to help get Katie’s body to the UK.

Charlie hailed her boyfriend as “incredibly brave, strong, and brave enough to stand up in court and testify against him.”

“Katie saved so many other children from being sexually abused by this despicable rapist,” she said.

“We know girls were abused before us, but Katie made sure there weren’t any after us.”

Charlie said Katie was trying to start a new life in Australia – and “fought every step of the way”.

“The sexual abuse trauma thing doesn’t just go away,” she wrote.

“What happened to Katie left her feeling worthless, like she wasn’t enough, and it impacted her mental health, as is common with all survivors, including me.

“Her family have been trying to get Katie to come back to the UK lately.”

The Sun interviewed Charlie Webster in 2021 about the abuse she suffered.

She said North arranged “private workout sessions” before “massaged” her breasts and groins, penetrating them with his fingers.

It wasn’t until he was jailed for 10 years when Charlie was 19 that she realized she wasn’t his only victim.

During the course of the documentary, she discovered that her closest friends were also abused at the club – one of whom was raped multiple times.

Charlie remained silent about the abuse for 20 years and says she was too ashamed to speak out and blamed herself.

But after advocating for abuse victims with the charity Women’s Aid and encouraging victims to speak up about their experiences, she decided to open up about her own trauma to help others.

North was convicted of his crimes in 2002 after a 15-year-old victim he stripped and assaulted told her father, who reported him to the police.

He was imprisoned for 10 years and has since been released.

This story originally appeared in The Sun and is reproduced here with permission.

Originally published as a rape survivor who was abused by a running coach, it comes to a tragic end in Sydney

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