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Sun May 26 2019

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Digger driver jailed for rampaging after unpaid wages

6 Mar A Romanian man who caused £4m of damage to a nearly-completed McCarthy & Stone housing development after a row over wages has been sent to jail.

Daniel Neagu and, below, the damage he caused
Daniel Neagu and, below, the damage he caused

Daniel Neagu, aged 31, of Athelstone Road, Harrow, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage. He appeared before St Albans Crown Court yesterday (5th March 2019) and was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

The court heard how he caused £4m worth of damage to brand new bungalows in Buntingford on 11th August 2018.

The court previously heard that Neagu used an excavator to partly destroy five brand new houses in Royal Gardens, a new housing development off Ermine Street. This also caused extensive damage to the £50,000 digger.

When residents nearby noticed what was happening they called police and Neagu was arrested.

He had been working at the construction site for subcontractor Fenton before he was dismissed along with several colleagues a few weeks before the incident. He told police that he had chosen to destroy the properties because of a dispute with his former employer over unpaid wages.

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Detective Constable Shaun Turner, from the East Herts Local Crime Unit, said: “Three three-bedroom properties and two two-bedroom properties were affected by Neagu’s deliberate act of destruction, with the total cost of the damage estimated to be in the region of £4m.

“The incident had a lasting impact on the local community as a number of the properties were nearing completion and their new owners were weeks away from moving in. However after assessment, the structural damage was deemed to be too severe so the affected properties had to be demolished and rebuilt, which took months.”


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