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Former fell-running star who tried to murder athletics official faces sentencing

A former fell-running champion who launched a savage knife attack on an athletics official is to be sentenced by a Crown Court judge.

Lauren Jeska is due to appear in person at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault via a prison video-link in September last year.

Jeska, 41, of Wesley Terrace in Machynlleth, Powys, has also previously admitted two counts of having a knife in a public place.

The charges against Jeska all relate to an attack on former rugby player Ralph Knibbs, British Athletics' head of human resources, at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on March 22 last year.

Former Bristol RFC centre Mr Knibbs was stabbed in the head and neck at UK Athletics' HQ in Perry Barr, resulting in life-threatening injuries.

Jeska's other victims - accountant Timothy Begley and finance director Kevan Taylor - suffered minor injuries after stepping in to help Mr Knibbs.

Although Jeska, who has been the subject of psychiatric reports, admitted possessing two kitchen knives, she denied possessing a bread knife found in a bag after the attack on 51-year-old Mr Knibbs.

In a statement issued after Jeska entered her guilty pleas last year, a spokesman for UK Athletics thanked staff who worked calmly to administer life-saving first aid.

The CPS has said Jeska drove from her home in Wales to Birmingham and was asked to wait in reception at UK Athletics' offices but instead walked into an open-plan area and stabbed Mr Knibbs.

The "premeditated and savage" attack followed what prosecutors described as a disagreement with British Athletics officials.

Jeska, who was restrained by staff at the scene until police arrived, will be sentenced by Judge Simon Drew QC.

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