A transgender champion runner in England has been jailed for 18 years for the attempted murder of an athletics official she attacked with a knife after a row over her eligibility to compete as a woman.
Lauren Jeska, English women’s fell-running champion in 2010, 2011 and 2012, launched the ferocious attack on Ralph Knibbs in his office at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham a year ago.
According to evidence heard at Birmingham Crown Court, the graduate of prestigious Oxford University stabbed Mr Knibbs in the head and neck with such force it was “as though she was skewering meat”.
Jeska, 42, was born Michael Jameson. She had been in a dispute with UK Athletics about competing in women’s fell-running races because of her birth gender. The court was told that she had not provided samples to test her testosterone levels and her results had been declared null and void.
The week before the attack, Mr Knibbs met Jeska at her home in Wales to discuss her “long-term” issue with the sporting governing body.
On March 22 last year Jeska drove to Birmingham with two large kitchen knives in a rucksack. She went into the UK Athletics office and sought out Mr Knibbs before beginning her frenzied attack.
Mr Knibbs told the court that he had suffered long-term nerve damage that had cost him his independence. He also suffered a stroke during the assault, resulting in permanent partial loss of sight.
Jeska admitted attempted murder.
Judge Simon Drew QC told Jeska that her attack had been “planned and executed with chilling precision”.
Jeska’s parents, Pauline and Graham Jameson, said afterwards that stress caused by “conflicting rulings” on her eligibility to compete had triggered a “mental health crisis”.