Sacked mechanic jailed for six-year revenge campaign against Suffolk taxi firm

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Adrian Ling, 63, has been jailed for eight years. Credit: Suffolk Police

A disgruntled mechanic who was sacked by a taxi firm has been jailed for carrying out a violent revenge campaign against his former employers.

Adrian Ling, 63, fired airguns at taxis from passing cars, threw corrosive liquid over paintwork and slashed tyres, causing damage totalling £136,000.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Ling, from Brampton in Suffolk, had worked for Goldline Travel at Ellough near Beccles before he was dismissed in 2012.

Following his sacking, he began a six-year campaign of criminal damage against the company's vehicles.

From 4 March 2013 to 18 May 2019 police recorded 83 cases of damage against the firm.

A broken window in one of the vehicles owned by Goldline Travel Credit: Suffolk Police

Ling had denied the offences but was found guilty, alongside his co-defendant Daniel Garrison, on 1 November 2023, following a two-month trial.

Garrison, of Danforth Drive in Framlingham, is due to be sentenced at a later date.

The court heard the pair had been tailing taxis in cars and shooting at them with air rifles, shattering windows and damaging bodywork.

On four occasions passengers were in the cars being shot at but they escaped unhurt, although a driver was injured during another attack when something was thrown at a car.

Air guns were used to shoot projectiles at windows Credit: Suffolk Police

After a painstaking investigation, police discovered Ling and Garrison had been registering cars under fake names and using cloned number plates to avoid detection.

CCTV footage from cameras at Moors Industrial Estate in Ellough showed a red Ford Focus traced to Garrison speeding away after a window in a Goldline taxi was shattered.

Police believe an air gun was used to shoot out the glass.

On 24 June 2016 an off-duty police officer in Beccles spotted Garrison driving a blue Ford KA vehicle behind a Goldline Travel taxi with a man crouched down in the rear passenger seat.

When officers searched the homes and cars of the pair in September 2016 Ling and Garrison were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

Police seized two air rifles, metal wheel bearings, tapered rollers believed to be the projectiles used as ammunition to fire from air rifles, mobile phones and a cloned registration plate.

Two shortwave radio scanners were also seized, suggesting the pair had used these to secretly monitor communications between Goldline Travel call dispatchers and taxi drivers, allowing Ling and Garrison to pinpoint the location of taxis to attack.

Cars were also covered in corrosive liquid, and wing mirrors were smashed. Credit: Suffolk Police

Following these initial arrests, detectives investigated and charged both men.

Det Con Andrew Thawley said: “This has been a long and complicated investigation with Ling and Garrison taking many steps to try to conceal their crimes against Goldline Travel.

“Extensive inquiries were carried out and, ultimately, the evidence gathered from sources including CCTV, [automatic number plate recognition], forensic analysis (DNA and firearms), communications data, mobile phone records and witness testimony presented a compelling case linking them to the incidents.

“This investigation reflects a considerable level of teamwork and I would like to give credit to the work done by officers from Beccles safer neighbourhood team in particular.”

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