Stowmarket: Burglar ordered to pay back �20,000

A PROFESSIONAL burglar who raided homes across Suffolk and Essex while their owners slept has been ordered to pay back �20,000.

Ian Ling is currently serving a four-and-a-half-year jail term after being found guilty of 11 burglaries and an offence of going equipped for theft at a trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

The court heard that Ling had been responsible for stealing property worth �20,000 and during a police investigation into the burglaries it was discovered that Ling had a lock-up in Stowmarket Road, Stonham Aspal, which contained a treasure trove of antiques, paintings, jewellery and furniture.

An open day was subsequently held at Halesworth police station in the hope of reuniting the items with their rightful owners.

The court heard that Ling, 60, of Harrier Way, Stowmarket, had committed burglaries at houses in Coddenham, Earl Soham, Bacton and Thorington between October 2007 and November 2008.

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Yesterday, a proceeds of crime hearing was told that although Ling had benefited from his offending by �50,000 he had only available assets of �20,000.

Judge John Devaux made a confiscation order in the sum of �20,000 and gave Ling six months to pay.

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