A former plant operator has been sentenced after he used a digger to cause £4m worth of damage to brand new bungalows in Buntingford in a dispute over wages
Daniel Neagu, aged 31, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage and appeared before St Albans Crown Court, where he was sentenced to four years imprisonment.
The court previously heard that on 11 August 2018 Daniel Neagu used a digger to partly destroy five brand new houses in Royal Gardens, a new housing development off Ermine Street. This also caused extensive damage to the digger, which cost in excess of £50,000.
When residents nearby noticed what was happening they called police, before officers attended and detained Neagu.
The former plant operator had been working at the construction site before he was dismissed alongside several colleagues a few weeks prior to the incident.
Neagu, who had experience operating the digger, told officers that the reason he had chosen to destroy the properties was due to a dispute with his former employer over unpaid wages.
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.”