A KIDDERMINSTER man, who bravely stood up to an offender during the attempted rape of a child, has been honoured at Worcester Crown Court.

Alexander Hardy has received the rare honour after he caught and stopped Henry Loveridge who attempted to rape a female child in a wooded area in Kidderminster, in September 2017.

Loveridge, 29, of the Hoobrook area of Kidderminster, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for two counts of attempted rape of a girl earlier this year.

At a special hearing judge Nicholas Cartwright said: "A judge sitting in the crown court has the power to order that the High Sheriff should pay a reward to a person 'who has been active in the apprehensive of any person later charged with an offence'.

"Despite the fact, or perhaps because of the fact that this power was introduced in 1826, it is a power not often exercised.

"If ever there was a case in which it should be exercised, then this is it.

"In the wooded area Alexander came across a grown man and the eight-year-old child who had gone missing. This child was but moments away from being raped.

"Alexander confronted the offender. The girl ran. The offender gave chase after the girl and Alexander chased after the pair whilst shouting for help.

"Alexander managed to overtake the offender and block him from getting at the child.

"Alexander was himself pursued - the offender turned on him, threatening him with violence.

"Alexander kept a distance but stayed at the scene until the police arrived.

"Without the intervention of Alexander Hardy, there can be no doubt that a dreadful offence would have been committed. He might never have been brought to justice.

"I have no doubt that your friends and family are very proud of you. And rightly so- you should feel very proud of yourself."

The judge added he had learned Mr Hardy had been a police cadet at the time of the incident, and he demonstrated qualities that day "exactly those you would want to find in a police officer".

The 18-year-old, from Kidderminster, was presented with a certificate and a £1,000 cash reward for his brave act by the High Sheriff for the county of Worcestershire, Cassian Roberts, who told him he had acted in a manner that we hope all county residents would act.

Mr Hardy said: "I was delighted and shocked when I heard I was receiving the award after the sentencing. I guess it was brave.

"I was a police cadet at the time, I've just finished college and now plan to go to university."

DCI Andrew Bailey added: "We are all extremely proud of Alexander and what he did that day.

"Those were extremely brave actions. The reward is thoroughly deserved."