10/09/2018 13:09 BST | Updated 10/09/2018 15:02 BST

Builder Pleads Not Guilty To Destroying £4m New Homes With Digger

Fives houses were wrecked.


A builder has pleaded not guilty to using a digger to cause millions of pounds worth of damage to a row of newly built retirement homes

Daniel Neagu, 30, was charged with criminal damage after five houses belonging to McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living to the value of around £4 million were wrecked in Buntingford, Hertfordshire, on 11 August.

The builder pleaded not guilty to the charge during a preliminary hearing at St Albans Crown Court on Monday.

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It is alleged he acted without lawful excuse and was reckless as to whether the properties were destroyed or damaged.

A McCarthy & Stone spokeswoman has said that Neagu was not employed directly by them and was instead working for subcontractor Fenton.

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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.

A trial for Neagu, a Romanian national living in Athelstone Road, Harrow, north-west London, was set for St Albans Crown Court on February 4 2019.

He was remanded in custody.