‘Put trans athlete who knifed race official in male prison’
A WOMEN’S activist yesterday demanded a transgender athlete serving 18 years for attempted murder be transferred to a men’s prison to complete her sentence.
Former British fell-running champion Lauren Jeska was jailed in 2017 when, enraged by a dispute over her eligibility to compete as a female, she tried to stab an official to death.
Jeska, 48, critically wounded UK Athletics’ head of human resources, Ralph Knibbs, then 52.
Mr Knibbs suffered life-changing injuries in the attack at his office at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium. Two other people were injured.
Jeska struck after being told her fell-running titles would be voided because testosterone levels in her body were too high to include her in the female category.
In spite of the ruling, Jeska continues to hold the women’s record for the Aberystwyth Parkrun with a time of 17 minutes 38 seconds.
Now Heather Binning, founder of the Women’s Rights Network, has blasted Parkrun – for allowing the record to stand – and the Ministry of Justice for allowing Jeska to serve her term in a female prison, HMP Foston Hall, Derbys.
Ms Binning said: “Earlier this year the Government ruled prisoners with male genitalia or those born male and convicted of sexual or violent offences would be made to serve sentences in male prisons.
“What Jeska did, taking two knives into someone’s office and very nearly succeeding in killing them, must be considered an extremely violent crime.
“I want to know when the decision to allow Jeska to remain at HMP Foston Hall was last reviewed and why are the Ministry of Justice not following government policy in this case?”
She also criticised Parkrun for retaining the Aberystwyth record.
Ms Binning added:
“It is astonishing. Parkrun say they are about fun and community, that it is not a competition. Yet they publish results and records in the men’s and women’s categories. “This record needs to be erased so the achievements of women athletes can be properly recognised. Either that or don’t have any categories at all.
“It is horrific authorities and many women are so terrified of causing offence to the transgender community they dare not say anything.Women are being silenced.” British long-distance athlete Mara Yamauchi, a two-time Olympian, has warned Parkrun’s policy may put their women’s records “out of female hands forever” as trans athletes smash them “to smithereens”.
A Parkrun spokesman said it would not be “appropriate or practical” to request proof of gender at events.