Unpaid builder filmed himself destroying five homes in dispute over wages

'I decided even if get in trouble I did it for a reason, because I didn't get paid,' Daniel Neagu filmed himself saying

Unpaid builder films himself destroying homes worth £4m

A builder who destroyed five newly built retirement homes with a digger in a row over unpaid wages has been jailed for four years.

Daniel Neagu filmed himself whooping and whistling as he repeatedly smashed the vehicle into the unoccupied properties in Buntingford, Hertfordshire.

The 31-year-old caused so damage during his 40-minute wrecking spree that all five homes – worth up to £475,000 each – had to be pulled down later and rebuilt.

At one point during his destruction, the former plant operator recorded himself telling an onlooker he was owed £6,000 for helping build the row.

He said: “I decided even if get in trouble I did it for a reason, because I didn't get paid, you know what I mean?"

The passer-by replied: "Go back in and smash up another one."

Neagu, of Harrow, north west London, admitted criminal damage worth £1m when he appeared at St Albans Crown Court.

The court heard he claimed his firm was owed £16,000 in unpaid wages by a subcontractor, Fenton Construction.

Daniel Neagu

When the company refused to pay, he took the digger and ripped down the row called Royal Gardens on 11 August last year.

In another moment caught on film during the destruction, he tells a couple living on the same street: “I'm not a dangerous guy, if you like call the police, you can call the police.”

Later, he turned the camera on himself with an apparent message for his one-time employers: “I hope you are happy with that and this is a good lesson for you to understand - next time, you pay your boys, your hard workers."

Fenton – which was working on behalf of developers McCarthy and Stone – told the court it had withheld the money because one of its vehicles, which was fitted with a tracker, was found to be in Neagu's native Romania.

He admitted taking it and said it would be returned when he was paid, the court heard.

Sentencing, Judge Stephen Warner said: “This was planned, deliberate and wanton vandalism involving the destruction of other people's property undertaken by you as a pure act of revenge.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in