Burglary suspect found with crowbar

A FORMER window fitter who was arrested in the grounds of a Suffolk country estate has denied going there to burgle the premises.

Jane Hunt

A FORMER window fitter who was arrested in the grounds of a Suffolk country estate has denied going there to burgle the premises.

After his arrest Ian Ling accepted during interviews with police that “it didn't look very good” after police found a number of items in his car including a crowbar, a glass cutter, bags, tape, a knife and a piece of wire with a hook on the end.

However, Ling denied that he had gone to Thorington Hall near Blythburgh to burgle the house.

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He also denied that he had been responsible for an earlier burglary at the premises and that he had gone back on the night of his arrest to take more property.

Ling, 58, of Harrier Way, Stowmarket, has denied going equipped for burglary, being in possession of criminal property and 16 offences of burglary.

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Also in the dock is Clive Clark, 39, of Tollgate Lane, Bury St Edmunds, who has denied one offence of going equipped for burglary with Ling in November last year.

Joanne Eley, prosecuting, told the court that Ling and Clark were arrested by police during the evening of November 7 last year in the grounds of Thorington Hall after the owners' daughter reported seeing someone run past a window.

When officers arrived at the 50 acre estate they found a vehicle parked near the driveway and spotted two men walking around outside the hall.

Thirty minutes later the men came back down the drive towards the A12 and were arrested by police who had been lying in wait for them, said Miss Eley.

She said the men were dressed in black and a search of their vehicle revealed some large bags, wire, tape, glass cutting equipment, a crowbar, a torch and a screwdriver.

The men were later released on police bail and nearly a month later a policeman detained Ling for a search after seeing him sitting in a van which he suspected contained stolen furniture, said Miss Eley.

Police eventually located a lock up rented by Ling on a farm at Stonham Aspal and inside it discovered thousands of pounds of stolen property.

Miss Eley said the properties allegedly burgled by Ling were Thorington Hall; Street Farm, Earl Soham; Tudor Grange, Nettlestead; White House, Yoxford; Woodholme, Bacton; St Vulcan's House, Wenhaston; The Grange, Haughley; Moses Farm, Little Maplestead, near Halstead; Bell Cottage, Dedham, and a depot in Knightsdale Road, Ipswich.

She said that further properties including Manor Farm, Coddenham, The Old Vicarage, Yoxford, and Glebe House, Stratford St Mary, were each allegedly burgled on two occasions.

After his arrest Ling said he had been going to auctions and car boot sales for a number of years and had bought items in good faith.

He denied knowing anything about the alleged burglaries.

The trial continues today .

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