NORTH East Wales coroner John Hughes became a hero when he saw a theft taking place.
Mr Hughes, 60, chased a woman thief out of Wrexham library, recovered a stolen handbag and later helped police identify the drug addict who had taken it.
His good deeds were retold at Mold Crown Court to Judge Roger Dutton who heard that his actions had been commended by a police superintendent.
Trisha Ann Lloyd, 20, of Second Avenue in Gwersyllt, admitted stealing the handbag of Amanda Jones-Costa at Wrexham Library on September 17 last year.
She was on early release licence at the time following a custodial sentence for burglary and ended up being recalled to custody as a result of the theft.
She was given a two-year community rehabilitation order.
Prosecutor Gareth Roberts told how Lloyd distracted her victim by chatting to her daughter, but then snatched the handbag and ran.
Mr Hughes gave chase and Lloyd dropped the handbag.
Police arrived and with the assistance of Mr Hughes who was able to identify her, they arrested her in a nearby park.
Mr Hughes, a Wrexham solicitor, said that he only did what anyone else would have done in the circumstances.
'I was in the library when this lady pushed past me,' he explained.
'Another lady shouted that she had stolen her handbag.'
'I chased her through the back door of the library and I saw her throw the bag away,' he said,
He recovered the bag and she ran ahead. Mr Hughes gave chase into Yale College and the pair ended up on either side of a parked car.
'When I moved to the right, she moved to the left,' he explained. 'She shouted she had given me the bag and to leave her alone. I told her I was sorry but she would have to go to the police.'
She then ran into a building where he lost her.
Mr Hughes said he returned the bag to the owner and a young man said the woman was now in Llwyn Isaf.
He was able to tell police she was the woman he had been chasing.
Defending barrister Oliver Jarvis told the court his client had changed her lifestyle and was turning her back on drugs.
Judge Dutton said it was clear Lloyd had gone off the rails and he hoped she had learned her lesson.
But he said she would have to comply with the rehabilitation order or she would be returned to court for re-sentence.