Page last updated at 19:02 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 20:02 UK

Bikers jailed for airport brawl

(1st row, left - right) Mark Moseley, Neale Harrison, Mark Price, Jeremy Ball. Second row L to R - Paul Arlett, Sean Timmins  Leonard Hawthorne and  Mark Larner
Seven men were jailed while police are searching for Mark Larner (second row far right)

Seven members of two rival biker gangs have been jailed for six years each for their part in a mass brawl between the gangs at an airport.

Up to 30 members of the Hells Angels and Outlaw biker groups clashed at Birmingham Airport last January, some wielding knuckledusters and hammers.

An eighth man due to be sentenced has fled the country, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Four men were members of the Outlaws and three were with the Hells Angels.

Three injured

The fight started when a few gang members spotted a small group of rival bikers on the same flight back from Alicante, Spain, the court heard.

They rang ahead for reinforcements who met them at the airport with various weapons, including a meat cleaver.

Passengers had to take cover from the violence that ensued in the arrivals area, the court heard.

Three gang members were injured and one suffered a serious head injury.

Four Outlaws - Mark Moseley, 46, of Orchard Rise, Sheldon, Birmingham; Neale Harrison, 46, of Bell Green Road, Coventry; Mark Price, 50, from Westbury Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire; and Jeremy Ball, 46, from Plant Street, Cheadle, Staffordshire; were found guilty of rioting in May.

While any individual remains adherent to a biker club to the extent that he sacrifices his own moral judgment, that presents a real danger to the public of causing serious harm
Judge Patrick Thomas QC

Three Hells Angels - Paul Arlett, 35, from Penn Road, Wolverhampton; Sean Timmins 38, from Briewood Road, Wolverhampton; and Leonard Hawthorne, 52, of Eve Lane, Dudley; were also found guilty of rioting last month.

But the court heard on Friday that that Mark Larner, 47, from Penn Road, Wolverhampton, had left the UK for South Africa "with a substantial amount of money, and clearly is therefore at large".

A warrant was issued for his arrest but he was not sentenced in his absence.

Sentencing the men, Judge Patrick Thomas QC, said the jail terms would have a substantial impact on the families of the convicted men but their actions gave him no choice.

"Your conduct gives me no choice," he said.

"You are all family men, and the effects of your actions on your families will be very substantial.

"While any individual remains adherent to a biker club to the extent that he sacrifices his own moral judgment, that presents a real danger to the public of causing serious harm."

'Risk to the public'

West Midlands Police said the "horrendous" violence during the riot was unprecedented in the history of the airport.

Ms Rowe said the biker gangs were a risk to the region

A costly police security operation - including the presence of armed officers - was carried out for the duration of the six-week trial.

Officers worked with colleagues in the Warwickshire force which said on Friday that attempts were being made to prevent the annual Hells Angel Bulldog Bash near Stratford-upon-Avon from going ahead later in the summer.

Bill Holland, Assistant Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police, said they were taking legal advice to have the event's licence withdrawn after organisers were granted a 10-year licence by district councillors last year.

"It is a matter of official record that over many years, outlaw motorcycle clubs have been actively engaged in organised crime," he said.

"There is a clear, evidenced, and significant risk to innocent members of the public if the Bulldog Bash is allowed to take place."

But a spokesman for organisers of the event rejected the claim saying they were "deeply disappointed" by the allegations made by the force.

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