A builder accused of using a digger to cause up to £4 million of damage to a row of newly built retirement homes has appeared in court. Daniel Neagu, 30, was charged with criminal damage after five McCarthy and Stone homes worth approximately £800,000 each were wrecked in Buntingford, Hertfordshire. Neagu, who had performed work for the firm, did not enter a plea during the hearing at Hatfield Magistrates’ Court where he appeared via video link from police cells on Monday.
Elaine Francois, 61, who called the police, said: ‘It looks like an earthquake or bomb struck. The man was laughing and taking photos of the damage. ‘When police got here he told them he wasn’t paid and that’s why he did it. He was totally calm.’ Black cab rapist John Worboys ‘questioned over new sex allegations’ Another neighbour, and former bricklayer, William Griffiths, 67, said: ‘He got out of the digger and I thought, ‘Great, he’s stopped’. But he got back to carry on. He seemed happy. ‘When police took him away in cuffs he caused no trouble.’ A fellow builder, who had been involved in the construction, said he was ‘angry’ after going to see the damage because he did not know what he would do for work.
Sitting on an estate still under construction, the homes in Ermine Street had external walls torn out, leaving debris littering their gardens. A turquoise digger stood beside the devastation. Baby boy born at scene where coach overturned on M25 McCarthy and Stone said owners were due to move into the unoccupied bungalows within weeks. Hertfordshire Constabulary said officers arrested a man at the scene after being called at about 5.40pm on Saturday. The Romanian national living in Athelstone Road, Harrow, north-west London, was not employed directly by McCarthy and Stone and was instead working for subcontractor Fenton, the McCarthy and Stone spokeswoman said.