Builder charged over £4m new homes digger destruction
A builder has been accused of causing £4m of damage by ripping apart five new homes with a digger.
Hertfordshire Police was called to Ermine Street in Buntingford, Hertfordshire, at about 17:40 BST on Saturday.
Daniel Neagu, 30, from Athelstone Road in Harrow, north-west London, has been charged with causing criminal damage.
Magistrates heard that the houses belonged to development company McCarthy and Stone.
A spokeswoman for the firm said Mr Neagu was not employed directly but worked for subcontractor Fenton.
Police said they arrested a man at the scene after being called to the site of the newly built retirement homes.
McCarthy and Stone said owners were due to move into the unoccupied bungalows within weeks.
"We are now awaiting a structural engineer's report, so we can plan the work required to repair or rebuild these properties," she said.
"We are absolutely devastated for the purchasers affected and our priority is to continue to stay in close contact with them and their families, and to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum."
Magistrates in Hatfield were told Mr Neagu, who appeared by videolink, was a Romanian national and had lived in the UK for three years.
He was remanded in custody and will appear for a plea hearing at St Albans Crown Court on 10 September.