A member of a notorious crime gang has admitted the road rage killing of a Staffordshire van driver in a terrifying high-speed chase along a motorway.

Paul Lyons, 28, consumed a cocktail of alcohol and drugs before he rammed father-of-two Mark Fleeman off the M74 in Lanarkshire.

Mr Fleeman, 32, from Uttoxeter, died when his van was sent careering across the motorway near Larkhall.

Lyons, a well-known figure in the Glasgow underworld, fled to Spain after the killing in a bid to escape justice. But he was extradited back to Scotland after being arrested by Spanish police.

At the High Court in Glasgow, he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Shopfitter Mr Fleeman was driving to work along the M74 in the early hours of June 4 2009 when Lyons repeatedly tried to crash his own van into him at more than 70mph. The vehicles eventually collided, with Mr Fleeman's overturning several times before landing at the side of the carriageway.

His passenger, 17-year-old student Lee Allsup, also from Uttoxeter, was seriously injured in the crash.

Advocate depute Iain McSporran said Mr Fleeman had initially gestured at Lyons because of his erratic driving. He said: "It appears that the accused's response to this gesture is what led to Mr Fleeman's death."

Lyons, who was driving home from a night out with friends in Manchester, had been drinking beer and wine and took valium pills during the trip north, the court heard.

He was originally charged with murder or an alternative charge of causing death by reckless driving.

Lyons was also accused of attempted murder or an alternative charge of reckless driving, assault to severe injury, attempting to defeat ends of justice and various charges under the Road Traffic Act 1988.

He admitted defeating the ends of justice by trying to dispose of the van he was driving before fleeing to Spain. The Crown Office later sought a European Arrest Warrant which was granted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The warrant was executed by Spanish police and he was arrested in September at Alicante airport where he was meeting visitors.

Following a court hearing in Madrid, he was ordered to be returned to the UK to face criminal charges in Scotland. At the hearing, Lyons pleaded guilty to driving dangerously while under the influence of drink and drugs.

He also admitted an earlier incident during the same journey in which he twice cut up another car on the M74.Sentencing will take place on April 1.