A former top female athlete has been charged with attempted murder, after a triple stabbing at the offices of UK Athletics at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, in which former England rugby union star Ralph Knibbs was stabbed and hospitalised. Part of the stadium in the Perry Barr area of the city was sealed off following the incident at 10.30am on Tuesday 22 March, as forensics teams searched the area.
Lauren Jeska, 41, who has reportedly represented the UK as a fell runner, made no plea when she appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court. Wearing grey jogging bottoms, trainers and a blue t-shirt, she spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth.
The court heard that when arrested, Jeska was carrying a bread knife and two kitchen knives, at least 12cm long. She is also charged with with unlawful and malicious wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm on two other men, Tim Begley and Kevin Taylor, as well as having three bladed articles in her possession.
Mr Knibbs, 51, played 436 times for Bristol rugby football club, scoring 123 tries. He also represented England and became famous when he refused to join a tour of South Africa in 1984 due to the country's regime of apartheid. According to his LinkedIn profile he is now head of human resources and welfare at UK Athletics. He is said to be stable in hospital. Begley and Taylor are also employees of UK Athletics. UK Athletics declined to comment on the incident.
According to online profiles, Jeska was English women's fell running champion in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and was also British Champion in 2012. Originally from Powys she now represents West Yorkshire athletic club Todmorden Harriers, according to the club's website. District Judge Khalid Qureshi remanded Jeska in custody until 25 April when she will appear at Birmingham Crown Court to face charges.