One of Birmingham’s ‘Most Wanted’ crooks is facing justice over a battle between rival bikers at the airport in which one man nearly died.
Joseph Patrick John Lagrue handed himself in at Solihull police station in September after the brawl between members of the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker gangs in January 2008.
Up to 30 people, some armed with hammers, machetes, knuckledusters, knives and a meat cleaver, were involved in the fight following a trip to Spain.
Families of holidaymakers were forced to dive for cover as the violence swept through the terminal.
A police source said Lagrue, 43, understood to be a member of the Outlaws, had played a “key role" in the violence.
But he was not tracked down following the incident and, in January last year, detectives named him as ‘wanted’ and added his face to their website.
A West Midlands Police spokesman said that following his arrest on September 27 he appeared before magistrates in Solihull charged with rioting.
He has pleaded guilty to the offence and will be sentenced later this month.
“Joseph Lagrue was wanted by police in connection since the investigation commenced and our efforts to track him down never ceased,” the spokesman said.
“This was a significant disturbance played out in the full glare of a busy international airport terminal.
"Families returning to Birmingham from their holidays were forced to take cover as two groups attacked each other with gratuitous violence.
“Weapons were produced and used and there were a number of injuries.
“The arrest of Joseph Lagrue brings this significant investigation to a close.”
The mob violence exploded near the arrivals hall of the airport after rival members discovered they were on the same flight from Alicante, in Spain.
Members of both gangs were met by associates, who provided them with weapons, as they arrived at the airport and began brawling in front of terrified families.
Several men were injured and one almost lost his life after suffering a serious head injury.
In July 2009, Neil Harrison, then aged 46, of Bell Green Road, Coventry; Paul Arlett, then 35, of Cradley Road, Dudley; Mark Price, then 50, of Westbury Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire; Sean Timmins, then 38, of Brewood Road in Coven, Staffordshire; Leonard Hawthorne, then 52, of Penn Road, Wolverhampton; Mark Moseley, then 46, of Orchard Rise, in Birmingham, and Jeremy Ball, then 46, of Plant Street, Cheadle, Staffordshire, were each jailed for six years after being convicted of rioting.
Another man, Mark Larner, then aged 47, of Tudor Road, Upper Gornal in the Black Country, fled to South Africa “with a substantial amount of money” before being sentenced. He later handed himself in to police in Bristol and was jailed in November 2009 for six years.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said Lagrue had pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody until later this month when he is due to be sentenced at Warwick Crown Court.