Andrew Taylor, of Darlington, chased computer thief for a mile

Father and son Paul and Andrew Taylor. Andrew chased burglar John Kirk for a mile in his bare feet through Darlington's streets

Father and son Paul and Andrew Taylor. Andrew chased burglar John Kirk for a mile in his bare feet through Darlington's streets

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A TEENAGER who chased a burglar for a mile in his bare feet is to be honoured for his bravery.

Andrew Taylor ran through Darlington’s streets in pursuit of the thief, who had stolen two laptop computers from a house.

Andrew, of Granton Close, in Darlington, sprinted after burglar John Kirk who raided a property in the Carmel Road North area of the town in March last year.

The 18-year-old caused serious damage to his feet in the chase and needed physiotherapy for three months to help him walk again.

He will receive a Bravery Award from The High Sheriff of County Durham, Harry Vane, in a Citizenship Ceremony at Darlington Town Hall on Monday, January 14.

Andrew said he acted on instinct and first thought 43-year-old Kirk was running away from paying a taxi fare.

He said: “I saw the man come running down the cul-de-sac and down an alley and then I saw a man in a taxi chasing him.

“He was the homeowner and was shouting ‘he’s robbed my house’.

“I just ran after him, I didn’t even think about not having anything on my feet, I just had to catch him.”

Despite his best efforts, Andrew had to stop due to his injured feet, but the burglar was cornered at a shopping parade, with help from Andrew’s father, Paul, after the mile-and-a-half pursuit which lasted 15 minutes.

Mr Taylor said: “I don't know how he kept going; both of his feet were shredded and looked like lumps of sirloin steak.”

Unemployed Kirk, of High Northgate, Darlington, was found guilty of burglary by a jury and jailed for four years at Teesside Crown Court in October.

The judge, Recorder Simon Phillips, QC, awarded Andrew £250 from public funds for his bravery.

The Citizenship Ceremony will see 19 people swear allegiance to Queen and Country, and feature guests including Darlington Mayor Councillor Paul Baldwin.

He said: “I’m looking forward to having the pleasure of meeting Andrew who will rightly be formally recognised for his act of bravery and public spirit.”

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