A mechanic waged a violent seven-year ‘vendetta’ against his former employer after he was sacked for allegedly stealing diesel.
Adrian Ling caused up to £300,000 of damage as he targeted coaches and taxis owned by the private hire firm in more than 80 incidents.
Goldline Travel was left with a £40,000 bill in a single night after three coaches were targeted and left with extensive damage to windows, tyres and seats.
Taxi windows were shot out with an air rifle while passengers were inside and owner Ian Trussler was headbutted by Ling when they bumped into each other at a supermarket.
Ling, 63, is now facing jail after he and an accomplice, Daniel Garrison, 34, were convicted on Wednesday of conspiring to commit criminal damage between December 2012 and November 2019 following a two-month trial.
Adrian Ling, 63, caused up to £300,000 of damage as he targeted coaches and taxis owned by Goldline Travel in in more than 80 incidents
Ling began working at Goldline Travel, in Ellough, near Beccles, Suffolk, in 2008 but was sacked four years later after he was accused of taking diesel
Ling was also convicted of four offences of having an air rifle with intent to commit criminal damage.
Asked after the verdict if he was relieved the reign of terror was over, Mr Trussler, 51, said: ‘You and me both.’
The delay in bringing his former employee to justice was because he had an accomplice, he added.
‘[It was whether] they could place him in the area at the time when different things were happening,’ Mr Trussler said.
Ling began working at Goldline Travel, in Ellough, near Beccles, Suffolk, in 2008 but was sacked four years later after he was accused of taking diesel – although a conviction for the offence was subsequently overturned on appeal.
Opening the trial at Ipswich Crown Court, prosecutor Andrew Thompson said: ‘It is clear that he was very angry about being sacked and it’s the prosecution case that he has harboured a significant personal grudge against Ian Trussler and Goldline and has carried out a sustained vendetta against them.’
Three Goldline coaches that were parked in Suffolk were vandalised, with smashed windows, slashed tyres and ripped seats that were also doused in paint thinner and diesel.
Keys were stolen from the depot during a burglary in May 2013 and staff found a birthday card with the message: ‘Ha ha. You’re f***** now.’
General manager Claire Tillett told the court the keys had been taken from hooks in the kitchen area and the card left on one of the hooks had a picture of an unflushed toilet. She said she recognised the handwriting as being Ling’s.
In October that year, Mr Trussler was picking up a coach from another company when he saw Ling, who hurled abuse at him and warned: ‘I’m going to smash your vehicles up till the day you die.’
A year later the men happened to be at the same supermarket in Beccles and Ling headbutted his former boss, causing him to fall to the ground. He denied battery but was convicted after a trial.
Goldline taxi drivers also reported several instances of windows shattering in their cars as they drove in the area.
One driver described how something hit her under the armpit and left her in pain after she heard a loud bang and the front passenger window smashed.
A male taxi driver reported he was shot at on three occasions between December 2015 and June 2016, including once when he had an elderly passenger in the car. The rear window was smashed each time.
Ling, of Beccles, and Garrison, of Woodbridge, will be sentenced in January.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk