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Teenager wore feet to the bone chasing Darlington burglar
A BRAVE teenager told last night (Sunday, October 21) how he wore his feet almost to the bone chasing a burglar for a mile without any shoes.
Andrew Taylor pursued the suspect bare-foot through the streets of Darlington to stop him escaping with two lap-tops.
The 18-year-old college student was so determined to catch the raider he did not realise how badly injured he was.
Andrew has since been on crutches for three months and has needed physiotherapy treatment to help him walk again.
His dad, Paul, said: “I don't know how he kept going. Both of his feet were shredded. They were like lumps of sirloin steak.”
Andrew added: “It was just adrenalin, really. I didn't even think about not having shoes on.
“My dad shouted for help to chase him, so I did. I had no idea about the state of my feet until my dad pointed it out.
“I looked down and couldn't believe it. That's when it started to hurt. I hobbled home and my dad continued the chase.”
The burglar, John Kirk was cornered at a shopping parade after a mile-and-a-half pursuit which lasted 15 minutes.
When he appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Friday, it emerged that the 43-year-old heroin addict has an astonishing 216 previous convictions.
Mr Taylor, a 56-year-old salesman, told The Northern Echo how he and his son became embroiled in the drama.
The father-of-three was chatting to a neighbour when Kirk ran past – followed soon after by the burglary victim.
The raider had struck at the house in Carmel Road North while the occupants were away for just half-an-hour.
The householder jumped in his taxi when he discovered the break-in, and trawled the streets looking for the suspect.
He cornered Kirk in Barrett Road but the raider shoved him out of the way and fled with the two computers in bags.
Mr Taylor said: “A man came running into the Close, and to all intents and purposes it looked like he was out jogging.
“But a few seconds later, a taxi came screeching up after him and I thought it was someone running away from a fare.
“The guy shouted 'he's robbed my house and stole my lap-top' so I gave chase with the driver and shouted my son to help.
“We chased him for about ten minutes and when Andrew flushed him out of a garden, I realised he had nothing on his feet.
“Andrew chased him so far but then started limping badly and I saw his feet. The soles were shredded, almost to the bone.”
The judge, Recorder Simon Phillips, QC, awarded Andrew, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, £250 from public funds.
He said: “He and his father showed tremendous public-spiritedness.
“He suffered very painful consequences from his well-intentioned involvement. He ran his foot, literally, to the bone.
“I direct the Taylors should be written a letter of commendation by way of a small token of appreciation of their civic duty.”
Kirk, of High Northgate, Darlington, denied burglary but was convicted after a trial and was jailed for four years.
He claimed he had been given the computer bags by the fleeing raider and simply ran off when he was challenged.
Unemployed Kirk had been freed from Holme House Prison shortly before the tea-time burglary on March 26 this year.