A worker who destroyed five new houses with a digger in a row over wages has been jailed for four years.
Police said he caused £4m worth of damage, and the homes had to be demolished and rebuilt, meaning the new owners couldn’t move in for months.
Daniel Neagu, 31, of Athelstone Road in Harrow, north west London, admitted criminal damage to the homes in McCarthy and Stone’s Royal Gardens development in Buntingford, Hertfordshire last August, reports Construction Manager.
The revenge wrecking, which Neagu filmed, also caused £50,000 worth of damaged the digger.
Former plant operator Neagu had been working at the site before he was dismissed alongside several colleagues a few weeks prior to the incident.
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."
One of the major construction industry risk factors are mostly based on wages and salaries, the ugly truth is that no employer hires anyone unless they can extract more value from them than they have to pay out in wages and benefits. That been said, low wage with no benefit can results in some workers mental instability.
Construction industry should pay more attention with workers mental health and suicide which are historically been a missing link in the human capital risk management in the construction industry.
Fundamentally, the problem with Daniel Neagu who destroyed five new houses with a digger must have the stigma associated with mental health and his inability to seek help resulting in suffering in silence and took to the act of destructions. In construction, 1 in 4 people have experienced depression or anxiety, which means that it is more than likely we all work alongside people living with mental ill health.
It is crucial that construction industry and stakeholders consider employees with mental health conditions and get the support they need to stay at or be focused. This can be done by accessing Workplace Rehabilitation services through an accredited provider in their local area so as to avoid the double tragedy associated with the criminal damage to properties and inexcusable action of Daniel Neagu.
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