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Mob 'fixer' jailed for 14 years

17 April 08 12:33 GMT

An underworld fixer praised by the father of football star Steven Gerrard has been sentenced to 14 years in jail.

John Kinsella, 43, of Kirkdale, Liverpool, was sentenced in his absence after absconding from Lincoln Crown Court when the judge granted him bail.

Kinsella was found guilty of a robbery from a haulage firm in Grantham.

During his trial, the jury was read a letter from Paul Gerrard saying he had "total respect" for Kinsella after he stopped a man from terrorising his son.

Easter eggs

Police are still searching for Kinsella.

Judge John Machin jailed Kinsella for 13 years for the robbery, 12 months for dangerous driving after a police pursuit at speeds of up to 130mph, and three months for breaking his bail conditions.

Judge Machin said: "This was a highly professional undertaking."

Earlier the judge told the court: "Mr Kinsella has decided that to surrender to bail is an optional activity and has disappeared."

It was claimed in court that Kinsella was a "fixer" who had stopped an intimidation campaign against Gerrard.

Paul Gerrard's letter said his son was "being terrorised by a notorious Liverpool gangster known as the 'The Psycho'" who was threatening to maim his son by shooting him in the legs.

"I told him (Kinsella) about the on-going threats and violence.

"John then reassured myself and my family he would resolve this nightmare... from that day...we have never had any more threats from the Liverpool underworld.

"Steven and I have total respect for John for what he did for us."

Kinsella and three fellow robbers were convicted of stealing £41,000 worth of detergents, crisps and Easter eggs in March 2006.

He had been granted bail at court provided that he remained in the grounds of Lincoln Crown Court.

But he was seen talking to two men before he walked out of the grounds unchallenged before the jury returned with its verdict.

James Muldoon, 28, and Stephen McMullen, 49, both of Liverpool, had been found guilty of robbery on Monday. Muldoon, who is also on the run, was jailed for 13 years and three months, while McMullen, who was on remand, was jailed for 12 years.

A fourth man, Thomas Hodgson, 29, of Liverpool, who had admitted one charge of robbery, was jailed for six years.

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