Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach on BBC One: Who is Charlie Webster and what happened to her?

20 Sep 2021, 22:02
20 Sep 2021, 16:23

BBC One, Real Life, True Crime

Charlie Webster bravely talks about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child in a new BBC One documentary – but who is she and what happened to her?

Who was her abuser and where are they now?

Here’s everything you need to know about Charlie Webster and her traumatic childhood experiences.

Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach unites victims of abuse (Credit: BBC One)

Read more: Spice Girls documentary: Mel B on what stopped her from taking her own life during abuse ordeal

Who is Charlie Webster?

Charlie Webster is a broadcaster and journalist.

As a result of the abuse she suffered as a child, Charlie also campaigns to raise awareness of grooming within sport.

She was born on November 9 1982 and is currently 38 years old.

Sheffield-born Charlie attended Tapton School, where she participated in elite junior athletics.

She went on to study language and linguistics at Newcastle University.

Charlie’s love of sport led her to work as a personal trainer and fitness instructor.

She has undertaken a number of challenges for charity including the London Marathon.

Charlie Webster career

She began her sports broadcasting career working for Real Madrid International TV, and became the first live female football presenter in Asia for ESPN and Star Sports in 2006.

Charlie has since presented for the BBC, ITV, Sky Sports and Channel 4.

As a result of the abuse she suffered as a child, Charlie has campaigned for women’s rights specifically in relation to sexual and domestic abuse.

She has appeared on Loose Women, The Wright Stuff and Good Morning Britain in the past.

Charlie Webster bravely talks about her abuse on Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach (Credit: BBC One)

Read more: Holby City star Guy Henry ‘deserves all the awards for Henrik’s childhood sexual abuse storyline’

Charlie Webster abuse – what happened to her?

In 2014, Charlie revealed she had been abused as a teenager.

Her coach sexually assaulted her – and countless others – during her time at an all-girls running club in Sheffield.

Athletics coach, Paul North, abused Charlie at the age of 15.

In new BBC documentary Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach, Charlie describes the first time North assaulted her.

She reveals he lured her to a private session under the pretence of helping her improve her bladder control.

Charlie recalls being “frozen” with fear as North sexually abused her, and explains that because the assault was not “done in a violent way” it was more difficult to spot.

She says her reasons for speaking out are “to show people aren’t alone”.

Charlie adds: “I want our ordeal to count for something.

“We need change.”

Charlie Webster abuse: What happened to her abuser?

Police arrested Charlie’s abuser after a victim spoke up.

A judge sentenced running coach Paul North to 10 years in prison when Charlie was 19.

He was convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault and one count of rape in 2002 and jailed for 10 years.

The man was also put on the sex offender registry.

During a TEDTalk, she has previously said: “I don’t want to talk to you about what happened, and how it happened.

“I want to talk to you about the bit we never hear about, that no one ever talks about.

“What happens after. The aftermath of a traumatic experience.”

The TV presenter tracks down other women who suffered sexual abuse (Credit: BBC One)

Charlie Webster malaria

Charlie also made the headlines in 2016 when she was placed in a coma after contracting malaria in Rio.

The abuse victim, who has worked for Sky and ITV, became unwell after watching the Olympic opening ceremony.

She was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with a rare strain of the disease.

Charlie recovered and was flown back to the UK.

In a statement she thanked the public for their support and said doctors in Brazil had saved her life.

Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach on BBC One

Charlie Webster speaks about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child.

Her running coach abused her and several members of her all-girls running club in Sheffield.

Charlie left Sheffield and didn’t speak to anyone from the club again.

To this day she doesn’t know what they went through.

Now she wants to find out – she’s finally ready to talk to them and decides to track them down.

In emotional scenes, she breaks down in tears while recalling the horrific assault.

Charlie also tries to investigate why the sport of athletics turned a blind eye.

She says about the documentary: “I have butterflies, tears and a very very very thankful heart to be supported and received in this way.”

She has said that the documentary is “just the start”.

Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach airs on Monday September 20 2021 at 10.35pm on BBC One.

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