Athletics: Fell runner charged with attempted murder of rugby's Knibbs

25th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

An English champion fell runner has been remanded into custody after being charged with the attempted murder of former rugby union player turned athletics administrator Ralph Knibbs.

Lauren Jeska, 41, was charged with the attempted murder of Knibbs at the offices of UK Athletics at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, central England, on Tuesday.

She was also charged with two counts of unlawful and malicious wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm on two other men.

Jeska, who is a former English Fell Running Champion, was further charged with possession of a 12cm kitchen knife, a 13cm kitchen knife and a bread knife in a public place.

She was remanded into custody by District Judge Shamim Qureshi to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on April 25.

Fell running, also known as hill or mountain running, is an established sport in rural areas of Britain.

West Midlands Police said Knibbs, 51, "remains in a stable condition in hospital".

Now the head of human resources and welfare at UK Athletics, the British sport's governing body, Knibbs made his name as a centre with home town rugby union club Bristol in the 1980s and 1990s when the west country side were still among England's leading teams.

Knibbs scored 123 tries in 436 senior appearances for Bristol but, despite winning England Under-23 and Sevens honours, he never received a full Test cap.

He ruled himself out of a place in the England squad for the 1984 tour of South Africa because of his opposition to apartheid.

Four years later Knibbs, with rugby union then still an amateur sport, declined a spot for the 1988 tour of Australia and Fiji due to work commitments and so became one of a select group of players to turn down England twice.

A spokesman for Bristol Rugby told the Bristol Post newspaper: "The club is shocked to hear about the incident involving Ralph.

"As a long-serving former player, the club's thoughts are with Ralph and his family at this time."

© 2016 AFP

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