Mum of Sheffield woman who 'died by suicide' in Australia pays emotional tribute to 'beautiful, generous, kind' daughter

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The mother of a ‘beautiful, generous and kind’ Sheffield woman, who tragically died by suicide last weekend, has paid an emotional tribute as the family work to bring her back home from Australia.

66-year-old Susan Stothard said she wanted her daughter, Katie Shone, to be remembered as “a happy person” and a “strong, independent person”, following her death. Susan said: “I am so proud of her. I want everyone to know I am proud of her… She was beautiful, she was generous and she was kind and that’s Katie to me. I hope to other people that is what they got as well.”

Katie, 38, grew up in Sheffield and ran in an all girls running club, where she was abused by convicted rapist Paul North, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2002 on charges of rape and indecent assault. Following her death, Katie’s best friend, journalist and former Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster, and her family created a GoFundMe page to bring Katie back home.

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"The biggest pain is that she is still on her own and how desperate she must have felt to do that,” said a tearful Susan, “She always brought back out what happened to her… I want her to be remembered as a happy person because that was what people saw her as.

Katie Shone, 38, tragically died by suicide last weekend. Her mum and family are raising money to get her home.Katie Shone, 38, tragically died by suicide last weekend. Her mum and family are raising money to get her home.
Katie Shone, 38, tragically died by suicide last weekend. Her mum and family are raising money to get her home.

"She was a beautiful soul, she was so kind. She was perfect,” Susan added, “She was amazing. She was amazing but there was always something that wasn’t enough. Something that stopped her being happy… She loved being fit and she loved looking fit and she could do that with her body but I don’t think she managed to get her mind fit.”

“We were talking to her to her a few days before... She wanted to be loved and she was loved. She thought she wasn’t worthy but she was.”

At the moment, Katie is still in Australia. Susan said it feels like her grief has “flatlined” as she just wants to get her daughter back to Sheffield so she could find peace. However, getting Katie repatriated to the UK can cost a lot of money, and so Charlie set up a GoFundMe to help raise the funds.

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Charlie said, after doing some research, the minimum amount it could cost to get Katie home was £5,000, but could be anywhere up to £15,000. Despite the page having a £5,000 target, it has raised £9,181 in just over two days.

Charlie Webster. (Pic credit: Ian West / PA Wire)Charlie Webster. (Pic credit: Ian West / PA Wire)
Charlie Webster. (Pic credit: Ian West / PA Wire)

Charlie was best friends with Katie when they ran together, and told The Star she was the inspiration behind her 2021 documentary, Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach. “We were really close friends,” Charlie said, “We were like a family and the bond me and Katie had was as close as it could be.

"When I think of her it’s heartbreaking because she had the most beautiful smile and she was so fun loving… we used to just lay in the Peace Gardens talking together.

"I felt like Katie didn’t get a voice and I want people to celebrate her but grieve her too… I feel like we were forced out of the area and she deserves to be home in Sheffield.”

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at [email protected], or visit to find your nearest branch.