Two men spent six years engaged in an extraordinary vendetta against a taxi firm which saw cabs fired at with air guns, a court has heard.

Adrian Ling launched the "revenge campaign" against Goldline Travel, along with Daniel Garrison, after being sacked by the firm in  2012 having been accused of stealing diesel.

Their trial heard that over the following seven years the company's vehicles were repeatedly shot at while picking up and carrying fares.

In other attacks, the pair slashed tyres, broke wing mirrors, and hurled corrosive substances over bodywork.

The pair carried out a total of 83 acts of criminal damage against the taxi and private vehicle hire firm's property between March 2013 and May 2019.

Ling, 63, even used a radio scanner to monitor Goldline's communications systems in order to plan ambushes, in what the judge said was a "revenge campaign of Hollywood proportions".

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

Both men were found guilty of a string of offences at Ipswich Crown Court with Ling sentenced to eight years in prison.

Garrison was bailed, awaiting pre-sentence reports.

READ MORE: Lowestoft man jailed for dealing cocaine and ketamine

The company, which is based in Ellough, near Beccles, operates a fleet of coaches as well as taxis.

Ling, from Beccles, started working there in 2008 as a mechanic but was sacked by owner Ian Trussler in 2012 after being accused of stealing diesel - although his conviction for the offence was later overturned

In a victim statement read out to the court by prosecutor Andrew Thompson, Mr Trussler said: “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."

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Goldline Travel based in Ellough, near BecclesGoldline Travel based in Ellough, near Beccles (Image: Google)

He said the continuous vandalism of Goldline taxis had 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," he said.

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

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

Mr Trussler told the court he had to install a system to block Ling from intercepting the company's radio system to prevent ambush attacks.

READ MORE: Police close case of crime break-in village of Ditchingham

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.”

Many of the cabs were attacked with shots fired from a passing car, shattering windows and denting bodywork, while they were picking up or carrying passengers.

The court was told metal cylinder projectiles were sometimes recovered inside vehicles or nearby after the attacks.

Cabs were targeted on four occasions while carrying passengers, though none were injured.

However, a driver was injured by a projectile when her car window was smashed.

Ling and Garrison were arrested after police analysed CCTV and ANPR footage, phone cell location and mobile phone data, as well as witness statements.

Officers discovered the pair were buying vehicles and using cloned registration plates to avoid detection.

The vehicles included a second hand red Ford Focus which Garrison bought in 2016 and registered under a false name to an address on an industrial estate in Beccles.

A red Ford Focus was then captured on CCTV in the vicinity of several incidents of criminal damage against vehicles, with a cloned registration plate.

Crucially, Garrison had sent Ling a text message with the cloned registration number prior to the incidents.

CCTV captured a red Ford Focus displaying the cloned plates in Ellough in April 2016.

The footage showed it driving slowly past a Goldline Travel taxi, turn around and pass the cab again before a rear offside window suddenly shattered. The Ford Focus then drove off at high speed.

Garrison later tried to sell the car with its original registration plates.

An off-duty police officer in Beccles recognised Garrison driving a blue Ford Ka behind a Goldline Travel taxi with a man crouched down in the back-passenger seat

Enquiries later established the registration details had been cloned.

Eight days later a blue Ford KA was captured on CCTV following an attack on another tax in Beccles.

Ling and Garrison were then arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

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.

READ MORE: Suffolk man Adrian Ling jailed over Goldline Travel revenge

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.

Ling and Garrison, 35, from Woodbridge, were found guilty of conspiring to commit criminal damage to property belonging to Goldline Travel between December 2012 and November 2019 and damaging company vehicles. 

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