A MOB fixer who once helped Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard was today behind bars after almost a year on the run.

John Kinsella stopped a Merseyside gangster known as The Psycho from terrorising the England midfielder when he was coming up through the Anfield ranks.

Last April, the Kirkdale enforcer went on the run after slipping out of Lincolnshire Crown Court.

He had just been convicted of tying up a security guard at a haulage depot in Grantham and stealing Easter eggs and detergent worth £41,000.

During the March, 2006, robbery, a night watchman was tied up by a gang of up to nine men, wearing balaclavas and camouflage clothing.

Kinsella was captured on the outskirts of Greater Manchester after a high-speed chase with police on the A1 and M62.

Kinsella claimed that he was in the area to collect a £100,000 debt, but was convicted by the jury.

The 44-year-old was granted bail, but ordered by the judge to remain in the court complex.

But, when it was time for him to be sentenced, Kinsella was nowhere to be seen. When his solicitor rang him, he said he was on the toilet but would not say where.

He was jailed for 14 years in his absence and police immediately launched a hunt for the fugitive.

The much-publicised trial grabbed newspaper headlines after Paul Gerrard, the father of Reds captain Steven, told the jury Kinsella stopped George Bromley Jnr from terrorising his son.

During the trial, it was said Bromley Jnr had threatened to shoot Gerrard in the legs and tried to extort money from him.

But Kinsella said that, once he spoke to Bromley Jnr, the campaign against the midfielder stopped.

The fugitive was arrested this week as he made his way to a gym in Amsterdam. Sources say he had been living in the Dutch city under a false identity.

UK authorities had his passport, but it is thought Kinsella used his underworld contacts to flee to mainland Europe.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police, who were leading the hunt, said: “We can confirm John Kinsella has been arrested and he is now in custody.”

Moves are under way to bring him back to Britain.

While on the run, Kinsella won a cut in his 14-year sentence.

In bizarre scenes, he obtained legal aid and his legal team went to the Court of Appeal to challenge the tariff.

Lord Justice Moses said he found it a “curious business” that a man on the run from the law was appealing a sentence when he was not even in custody. But appeal judges ruled that his jail term was “manifestly excessive” and reduced it by three years.

THE ECHO