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AN angry mum is demanding an apology from housing giants Barratt after they accused her four-year-old son of hot-wiring a dumper truck.

Young Kerrin Smith managed to start the machine on a building site near his home in Livingston, West Lothian.

Amazingly the firm say the primary one pupil fired the ignition by touching two wires together.

However, his mum Gillian says Kerrin was only able to do so because careless workmen left the keys lying around.

She fumed: "Somebody could have been killed if this truck had moved. There's no way a child could have turned the heavy wheel. How can they claim that a four-year-old hot-wired the truck? It is ridiculous.

"I couldn't even wire a plug and I'm an adult. I want a written apology from Barratt.

"There are a lot of kids around here and if it hadn't been Kerrin it would have been someone else. It was just a matter of time.

"I'm just glad he wasn't able to move the truck. One flick of a switch and it could have run into other kids."

turned off after police arrived. The vehicle is owned by a Barratt sub-contractor.

But despite police confirming that the keys were left in the machine, Barratt are adamant that the truck's wires were tampered with.

A spokesman for Barratt said: "We have looked into this and it looks like the vehicle was hot-wired. Our sub-contractors have said that keys would
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Mackay, Caitlin
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 3, 1999
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