Lauren Jeska

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Lauren Jeska (born 5 September 1974)[1] is a transgender[2] fell runner from Lancaster who was convicted of the attempted murder of Ralph Knibbs, HR manager for UK Athletics.

Early life[edit]

Jeska was born Michael Jameson to parents Pauline and Graham Jameson.[3] Graham Jameson is a mathematician at Lancaster University and both parents are active in Lancaster Baptist Church. Jeska had younger twin brothers, Nick and Tim, although Tim committed suicide in front of a train in 2013.[4]

Jeska went to Lancaster Royal Grammar School where she was a cross-country runner. She went on to Oxford University, where she studied physics, gaining a first.[3]

Transitioning and fell-running[edit]

In Easter 1998 Jeska came out to her parents as a trans woman, and had a gonadectomy in 2000. She went on to study gender studies at Leeds University. While at Leeds, she took up fell-running, finding immediate success, winning the Blackshaw Head fell race in 2008.[5] She later joined Todmorden Harriers athletics club, and went on to win the 2010 Three Shires Fell Race, the 2011 Liverpool Half Marathon, the 2010, 2011, and 2012 English, and 2012 British Fell Running Championships.[2] After moving to Wales she joined Aberystwyth Athletics Club.

Attempted murder[edit]

In June 2015 UK Athletics told Jeska that she would be required to provide blood tests to prove that her hormone levels were within normal female range, as there was no documentation for Jeska's 2000 castration.[3] Jeska found this requirement distressing, and in March 2016 she attacked Knibbs, a former professional rugby player, with a knife because she feared UK Athletics would strip Jeska of her records and her eligibility to compete against female athletes.[2] Jeska also attacked Tim Begley and Kevan Taylor, employees of UKA who came to Knibbs' aid.

In September 2016 she pleaded guilty to attempted murder, plus two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Begley and Taylor, and weapons charges for knife possession.[6]

On 15 November 2016 she was scheduled to be detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983, but the hearing was adjourned for a month pending further psychiatric reports.[7] Jeska was found during these investigations to have autism.

In March 2017, Jeska was jailed for 18 years for the crimes,[8] which severed nerves in Knibbs' body leaving him with restricted movement, difficulty eating, and limited vision in both eyes. It was revealed during sentencing that Jeska had twice asked for psychiatric help from the NHS prior to the attacks, but had not been referred for any treatment.

Jeska is currently serving her sentence at HM Prison Foston Hall, a women's prison.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IAAF: Lauren JESKA - Profile". iaaf.org.
  2. ^ a b c Jeska, Lauren (22 September 2016). "Fell-runner Lauren Jeska tried to kill British athletics official because she feared the body would revoke her titles over transgender status". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c editor, Helen Pidd North of England (2017-03-17). "Jailed transgender fell runner thought UK Athletics was 'trying to kill her'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  4. ^ "Transgender fell-runner who knifed Athletics official in head and neck jailed". The Sun. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  5. ^ "Addison conquers Kendal grid-lock to win Withins". Keighley News. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  6. ^ "Champion fell-runner Lauren Jeska admits attempted murder". The Guardian. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Yorkshire fell-runner Lauren Jeska to be sentenced to hospital order over murder bid". Yorkshire Post. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Lauren Jeska jailed for Alexander Stadium stabbings". BBC news. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Fell-runner Lauren Jeska admits attempted murder of athletics official".