Jailed athlete’s parents speak out over gender row

Lauren Jeska.

Lauren Jeska.

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The parents of a transgender runner from Lancaster jailed after stabbing an athletics chief amid a row over her gender have spoken out.

Pauline and Graham Jameson said the assault committed by their daughter Lauren Jeska was ‘completely out of character’ They said: “As the parents of Lauren Jeska, we deeply regret the injury inflicted on Ralph Knibbs.

“This assault was completely out of character for Lauren, who has always been a gentle and caring person. She did her best to comply with the requirements of the UK Athletics and I nternational Association of Athletics Federations for transgender runners.There were years of uncertainty while the UKA developed its policy. After a long delay, she was verbally promised reinstatement, but this was not done. It is clear to us that the assault is the consequence of a mental health crisis precipitated by the affair with UKA.”The champion fell runner, now of Machynlleth, Powys, admitted the attempted murder of Ralph Knibbs during an attack at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

Jeska, 42, also knifed two other UK Athletics staff who tried to intervene. She pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm to Kevan Taylor and Tim Begley.

Her defence solicitor told the court she feared further blood tests would reveal publicly that she had been born a man. She said that Jeska “feels awful” and was “extremely shocked to hear of the effects of her actions”.

Jeska must also serve five years on extended licence and will not be eligible for parole for 12 years.