Lauren Jeska (born 5 September 1974) is a trans woman from Lancaster. She competed in fell running and was convicted of the attempted murder of Ralph Knibbs, HR manager for UK Athletics after Knibbs investigated Jeska's eligibility to compete as a woman.
Jeska was born Michael Graham Jameson to parents Pauline and Graham Jameson. Graham Jameson is a mathematician at Lancaster University and both parents are active in Lancaster Baptist Church. She had two younger brothers who were twins, one of whom had mental health issues and later took his own life.
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. Jeska began studying for a doctorate at Oxford but dropped out of the course. She later attended Leeds University, gaining a master's in gender studies.
Transitioning and fell-running
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. 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. After moving to Wales she joined Aberystwyth Athletics Club.
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. Jeska found this requirement distressing as she felt it would reveal her transgender status publicly. She failed to provide the samples required.
In March 2016 she attacked Ralph Knibbs, a former professional rugby player and UK Athletics HR manager, with a knife because she feared UK Athletics would strip Jeska of her records and her eligibility to compete against female athletes. Jeska stabbed Knibbs in the head and neck, resulting in a 2cm hole with blood pumping out. 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.
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. Jeska was found during these investigations to have autism.
In March 2017, Jeska was jailed for 18 years for the crimes, 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.
- "IAAF: Lauren JESKA – Profile". iaaf.org.
- 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.
- FreeBMD Entry Info
- editor, Helen Pidd North of England (17 March 2017). "Jailed transgender fell runner thought UK Athletics was 'trying to kill her'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 March 2017.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Jailed fell runner thought UK Athletics was 'trying to kill her' | Sport | The Guardian
- Fell-runner Lauren Jeska tried to kill British athletics official because she feared the body would revoke her titles over transgender status
- "Addison conquers Kendal grid-lock to win Withins". Keighley News. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
- "Champion fell-runner Lauren Jeska admits attempted murder". The Guardian. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- "Yorkshire fell-runner Lauren Jeska to be sentenced to hospital order over murder bid". Yorkshire Post. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- Pidd, Helen (17 March 2017). "Jailed fell runner thought UK Athletics was 'trying to kill her'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- Perraudin, Frances (22 September 2016). "Champion fell-runner Lauren Jeska admits attempted murder". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- "Lauren Jeska jailed for Alexander Stadium stabbings". BBC News. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Fell-runner Lauren Jeska admits attempted murder of athletics official".