Former Todmorden runner facing attempted murder charge

Lauren Jeska, Todmorden Harriers

Lauren Jeska, Todmorden Harriers

Fell runner Lauren Jeska has been charged with attempting to kill senior British athletics official and former England rugby star Ralph Knibbs.

Mr Knibbs, 51, who is the head of human resources and welfare at the sport’s British governing body, was knifed at the offices of UK Athletics, inside the Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr, Birmingham.

Parts of the Alexander Stadium were sealed off following the incident at around 10.30am on Tuesday, March 22, as forensic investigators swept the area.

Ms Jeska, of Machynlleth, Powys, was arrested and also charged with wounding and possession of bladed articles.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, Jeska, who ran for Todmorden Harriers, was also charged with unlawful and malicious wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm on two other men and having three bladed articles in her possession.

The court heard these were alleged to be a 12cm kitchen knife, a 13cm kitchen knife and a bread knife.

No pleas were entered and there was no application for bail. She was remanded in custody by District Judge Khalid Qureshi and will appear at Birmingham Crown Court on April 25.

Ms Jeska was the women’s 2010, 2011 and 2012 English Fell Running Champion and won the British Championship in 2012.

Mr Knibbs represented England and played 436 times for Bristol Rugby Football Club and scored 123 tries during his career spanning the 1970s and 1980s. In 2007 he was named in The Sunday Times top ten centres of all time.