Stanley teenager praised for bravery after helping rape victim she heard crying in park

From left, ACC Tonya Antonis, Miss Kate Carr and NPCC Chairman Martin Hewitt at the Police Public Bravery awards Credit: Durham Police

A teenager who stopped to help a rape victim after hearing her crying in a park has been honoured in this year's police public bravery awards.

Last September, Kate Carr was on the phone to her friend while walking near to Oakley Park in Stanley, County Durham, when she heard cries coming from nearby trees.

The 14-year-old went to investigate and found a girl, who was half-dressed and clearly distressed, sitting in the mud facing away from her.

Kate asked if she was okay but the girl did not turn around or reply.

It was then that she noticed a man standing just in front of the young girl with his back turned towards Kate.

Realising something was seriously wrong, Kate quickly ended her phone call and ran over to the girl.

As she did this, the man made off.

The girl told Kate she had been raped by the man, with Kate escorting her to safety and promptly called the police.

An investigation was launched and the suspect quickly identified.

He pleaded guilty at Durham Crown Court in December 2021 and received an 11-year custodial sentence.

Miss Carr was honoured at this year’s National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Police and Public Bravery Awards, which recognises courageous and selfless acts to help protect others and where people have actively assisted police.

Assistant Chief Constable Tonya Antonis, from Durham Police, accompanied Kate at the awards on Monday November 28 where she collected a gold medal for her efforts.

ACC Antonis said: “It was an honour to attend the awards alongside Kate who has shown immense compassion and bravery in not only safeguarding the victim but helping put a very dangerous offender behind bars.

“County Durham and Darlington is a wonderful place because of its people who are always willing to help and often put themselves in harms way for the safety of others, often strangers who they have never met before.

“I’m delighted Kate has been given the recognition she deserves in what would have been a very traumatic experience for the victim, she should be very proud of herself.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...