Teenager praised for chasing thief
A fearless teenager tore his feet to shreds by pursuing a burglar with no shoes on after he had stolen two laptops.
Andrew Taylor, from Darlington, chased the thief for a mile through streets and gardens before he and his father managed to corner the assailant.
It was only then that the 18-year-old realised what had happened and he saw that the chase had worn his feet down to the bone.
He said: "My feet were ripped to shreds and took weeks to recover. I was definitely running on adrenaline and it was a spur of the moment thing to run out. I did not realise that I was not wearing any shoes until my dad pointed it out.
"When I stopped to catch my breath I realised and the pain started to kick in. But I would definitely do it again just next time I would put some shoes on." As a result Andrew was on crutches for three months and still now feels pain when he walks.
His father, Paul Taylor, 56, said: "It happened one evening when I was getting the car ready for the next day and I was talking to my neighbour.
"A guy came running down the road and ran through my neighbour's garden and a few seconds later a taxi came screeching round the corner and a man shouted that the runner had stolen some laptops.
"I ran into the house and called to Andrew to help and told my wife to phone the police. We chased after him and my son soon went past me. Eventually Andrew flushed him out of a garden and it was then I realised he had started running without any shoes on.
"His feet were really badly cut up. It's bad enough walking down your own drive bare foot let alone running down the road."
The thief, John Kirk, was convicted of burglary and court officials confirmed that he was sentenced to four years in prison at Teesside Crown Court. During the trial the judge awarded Andrew £250 from public funds and commended his public spiritedness.