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Powys fell running star Lauren Jeska who admitted attempted murder set for hospital order

Published date: 17 November 2016 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A hospital order awaits a champion fell runner who admitted a charge of attempting to murder a former professional rugby player.

Lauren Jeska, 42, of Wesley Terrace, Machynlleth, left Ralph Knibbs, the head of human resources at UK Athletics, in a life threatening condition after taking two knives to the governing body’s offices at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium in March.

Two of Mr Knibbs' colleagues suffered less serious injuries after stepping in to tackle Jeska.

She later admitted two counts of having a knife in a public place, two of assault causing actual bodily harm and attempting to kill 51-year-old Mr Knibbs after what prosecutors said was a "disagreement with British Athletics officials", which escalated, culminating in the March 22 attack.

Jeska, 42, was due to be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday, but a judge was told further psychiatric reports were awaited.

She was the women’s 2010, 2011 and 2012 England Fell Running Champion and also won the British Championship in 2012.

Her barrister, Julie Warburton, told the court that the latest doctor's report “takes the view that a hospital order in one form or another” would be needed, and before that Jeska would need further mental health assessments.

The judge also heard that it could be some months before the final psychiatric reports were ready and Jeska be sentenced.

Ms Warburton said: “We're not in the position at the moment to ask your honour to sentence.”

Police were called to the stadium at 10.30am on March 22 after reports a man had been stabbed.

The man, Knibbs, was a former England Sevens rugby player and had been rushed to hospital and stabilised.

He represented England at under 23 level and played 436 times for Bristol Rugby Football Club, scoring 123 tries in a career than spanned two decades.

He is famous for being one of the only players to turn down the chance to go on tour with the England senior team twice, once because he opposed the South African apartheid in 1984, and due to work commitments in 1988.

Judge Philip Parker QC adjourned the hearing until December 13.

For more news from across the region visit countytimes.co.uk

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