A rape survivor abused by a running coach meets a tragic end in Sydney

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

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster confirmed that his friend Katie – whose surname was not released – had been found dead on Sunday.

The athlete’s family are “absolutely devastated and just want her back to rest,” Charlie said.

He said police told Katie’s heartbroken mother, Sue, that her daughter’s body had been found after she had taken her own life.

“Katie was a daughter, sister, aunt and friend, with a cheeky sense of humour, a determined nature and a twinkle in her eye,” he said.

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

“I am so sad, hurt and pained to say that Katie has sadly passed away,” she wrote.

“Katie is my friend, she was part of my running group that I made my BBC documentary Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach about. Katie killed herself.”

Charlie, 40, told how she and Katie met at a running club in Sheffield as children, and soon became best friends.

But not everything was as it seemed.

In 2021, Charlie made a powerful BBC documentary about how she was groomed and subjected to horrific sexual assault by the club’s respected manager, Paul North, reports The Sun.

She revealed that North also abused Katie, and she came face to face with him in court to testify against him and put him behind bars.

“For Katie the pain was too much, her mental health deteriorated and she took her own life in a devastating way,” Charlie said on a GoFundMe page to bring Katie’s body home to the UK.

Charlie praised her friend as “incredibly brave, strong and so brave to come to court and testify against him”.

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

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

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

“What happens with the trauma of sexual abuse, it doesn’t just go away,” she wrote.

“What happened to Katie made her feel worthless, like she wasn’t enough, and it affected her mental health, as is common for all survivors, including me.

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

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

She said North arranged “private training sessions” before “massaging” her breasts and groin and penetrating her with his fingers.

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

In the course of the documentary, he discovered that his closest friends at the club were also abused, and one was raped several times.

Charlie kept quiet about the abuse for 20 years and says she was too ashamed to speak out, blaming herself.

But after campaigning for abuse victims with the charity Women’s Aid and encouraging victims to talk about their experiences, she decided to reveal 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 Posted as Rape survivor abused by running coach meets tragic end in Sydney

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