Victims of a “revenge campaign” by two men who spent six years targeting a travel firm’s vehicles have spoken of how the attacks left them “utterly helpless”.

Adrian Ling, 63, of Woodside, Beccles, and Daniel Garrison, 35, of Danforth Drive, Woodbridge, were charged with conspiring to commit criminal damage to property belonging to Goldline Travel between December 2012 and November 2019 and damaging company vehicles. 

Ling was also accused of four offences of having an air rifle with intent to commit criminal damage between 2013 and 2019. 

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Adrian Ling was described as vengeful during the sentencing. Adrian Ling was described as vengeful during the sentencing. (Image: Suffolk Constabulary)

The men denied the charges.

However, they were found guilty of all counts and Ling was sentenced to eight years in prison at Ipswich Crown Court on March 1.

Garrison was released on bail pending a pre-sentence report.

The jury heard a campaign of violence was carried out by Ling and Garrison against Goldline Travel, which operates a small fleet of coaches and taxis from its premises in Ellough, near Beccles, in north Suffolk.

The business saw vehicles repeatedly vandalised and it was heard in court that on several occasions, taxis were shot at with an air rifle while picking up and carrying fares. 

Ling started working with Goldline in 2008 as a mechanic and was later sacked by its owner, Ian Trussler, in 2012. 

Victim statements were read out to the court by prosecutor Andrew Thompson.

Mr Trussler said in his statement: “I could never have imagined the destruction that Mr Ling would cause to my life when he left the company.

“The events of the past 12 years have left me at breaking point and I feel like my life has been put on hold since 2012."

He added the continuous vandalization of the Goldline taxis deeply strained his marriage and relationship with his children as it became his only thought.

“Everything got on top of me and I felt like I had no space to breathe because the number and frequency of damage to company vehicles was relentless.

“We made a rule not to mention Adrian’s name in the house. 

“We didn’t want the children to hear his name.”

The attacks also involved tire slashing and dowsing the cars in corrosive substances.

Not only this but Mr Trussler said Ling had managed to monitor the radio system Goldline employees used to communicate so he had to install a system to block the interception and prevent ambush attacks.   

Mr Thompson told the court it was thought the vandalism had caused at least £250,000 of damage but this is disputed.   

The court also heard from Claire Tillett, an office manager at Goldline who claimed Ling had followed her home and said she “felt on edge everyday”.

She added: “I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been reduced to tears and I’m mentally exhausted”.

Defence barrister Matthew McNiff spoke on behalf of Ling in mitigation.

He questioned the reliability of the victim statements and stressed that no documentation had been provided by Mr Trussell to prove the total cost of damages.

Defence barrister Steven Dyble spoke on behalf of Garrison, who did not give any evidence during the trial and said his motive for involvement was not established.

However, Mr Dyble emphasised his involvement was short lived and said it was only in a supporting role.

Passing sentence, Judge Martyn Levett told Ling he was “a vengeful person”.

Judge Levett said: “In my judgement it’s the oldest story in the book: after being accused of stealing diesel from the company in 2012 you took it upon yourself to take a revenge campaign almost of Hollywood-style proportion.”

He ordered the destruction of Ling’s air rifles and his radio scanner but did not order a compensation payment as Ling did not have the funds to pay.