When we last left Maurice Kirk, the so-called “Flying Vet” who’d managed to get himself lost (twice) whilst flying the length of Africa as part of a Vintage Air Rally, he’d crash-landed in South Sudan. Rally organisers, fed up with his now-you-see-me/now-you-don’t shenanigans, had unceremoniously booted him out of the rally, but were continuing to offer him logistical support.
Mr Kirk, whose antics over the past 40-odd (sometimes very odd) years have seen him in and out of prison for a variety of offences, had his veterinary licence removed in 2002; an appeal before the Privy Council in 2004 failed to have it reinstated, much to Mr Kirk’s chagrin:
That seems to be Mr Kirk’s style: when things don’t go his way in court (and they rarely seem to), he feels no compunction about issuing threats…or indeed, commencing vendettas.
For example, as we have mentioned previously, Mr Kirk has had a long-standing vendetta against the psychiatrist who had the temerity to allege that he might not be quite right in the head: What did the good doctor say that Mr Kirk found so offensive? Here’s part of the medical report in question:
According to this report, Mr Kirk may have suffered brain damage as a “result of a combination of normal ageing, previous heavy alcohol misuse and deceleration injuries following plane crashes. The specific area of brain damage affects his ability to monitor and control his behaviour, decreases self-awareness, judgement and decision making abilities and have compounded his paranoid beliefs to the extent that when subjected to further stress, his beliefs intensify so that for periods they have a quality of a paranoid delusional disorder (mental illness characterised by fixed false beliefs unameanable [sic] to reason of a paranoid nature)”. [Emphasis ours]
The report also notes that “neither Maurice Kirk’s underlying personality nor brain damage will respond to medical intervention”. It’s also “unclear whether Maurice Kirk’s brain damage is likely to progress”.
Hard news to swallow, we’re sure, but Mr Kirk seems to have taken it extremely personally indeed, and never misses an opportunity to threaten and harass the psychiatrist in question. Q.E.D.
Interestingly, Mr Kirk’s recent Facebook posts from South Sudan seem to lend some credence to his psychiatric diagnosis:
Despite his alarming claims of very serious health issues—malaria, severe septicaemia, diarrhoea, headaches—he seems to have sufficient energy to rant incoherently about the UK judicial system, which he calls a “huge money stealing organisation” and express his rage at the current status of his legal case in South Wales (he lost and was assessed court fees).
In fact, his most recent missive is a plea for “someone” to lodge an appeal on his behalf in Cardiff Crown Court:
It’s been pointed out to us that one of Mr Kirk’s standard ploys is to claim serious illness when he’s in trouble, only to experience a sudden and dramatic recovery once the difficult situation has passed. For example, when he was most recently in prison, he claimed to be too ill to move about in anything but a wheelchair. However, the following week, when he’d been released, he was suddenly fit enough to pass a medical test enabling him to fly to Cape Town. Oddly, this recovery and long, gruelling aeroplane trip took place just at the point when he was facing bankruptcy in the UK, due to court costs having been awarded against him.
A Mail Online article about Mr Kirk’s African misadventures hints at some of the difficulties the “Flying Vet” has caused organisers and participants in the Vintage Air Rally, various UK embassies, and his own family:
While the media—and Mr Kirk’s fans on social media—seem to focus on his various adventures and near-misses, we think it’s important to realise that he’s not just a harmless, colourful eccentric. As his much-maligned psychiatrist pointed out, Mr Kirk seems unable to control his own impulses; he lacks self-awareness and judgement; and he appears to be a game-player extraordinaire.
Games people play
For example, we’ve previously noted Mr Kirk’s strange relationship with convicted paedophile Christopher Ebbs: in August 2012 he made death threats against Mr Ebbs, but in 2014 he provided an address belonging to Mr Ebbs (then known as Mr Alexander) to the court as his bail address.
This complex relationship becomes even more perplexing given that on 26 October 2012 Mr Ebbs pressed charges against Mr Kirk for entering his house without permission, and helping himself to food there:
Oddly, though, that same day—26 October 2012—Mr Ebbs apparently changed his mind, and decided that Mr Kirk “was not there as a trespasser, was very welcome to be there and that he would be happy for him to be returned to his address for something to eat!”
Even more curiously, the day after this contretemps, Mr Ebbs (writing as Christopher Paul Alexander) wrote and signed a letter in which he stated that he had met with police before he’d taken the witness stand against Mr Kirk, who had assaulted him in a Bristol pub in 1997.
In this letter, Mr Ebbs/Alexander affirmed that “during the meeting it was suggested that I should alter my statement to increase the impact my statement would have against Maurice Kirk in the proceedings….During the meeting I was threatened with various sanctions if I failed to alter the statement, which included sanctions against both my pilots and aviation engineer’s licences”.
So Mr Ebbs has gone from being the object of Mr Kirk’s death threats to claiming that he’d been forced to participate in a police-orchestrated plot to incriminate Mr Kirk in a 15-year-old assault trial.
What was all this in aid of? What persuaded Mr Ebbs—who had up till then been the object of Mr Kirk’s death threats—to suddenly decide to welcome Mr Kirk into his home after all, and then to write something that backed up Mr Kirk’s ongoing vendetta against the South Wales police? It’s all very confusing indeed, and frankly smells just a bit of coercion.
We understand that the Sunday Mail has a feature story on Mr Kirk planned for today; we haven’t seen it at time of writing, but we have no doubt that it’ll be another “rah-rah, isn’t he a character, what an eccentric!” story, focusing on Mr Kirk’s various amusing peccadilloes.
We expect that at some point Mr Kirk will wend his way back to South Wales, where he’ll continue his endless vendetta against the police, courts, and sundry others.
Will he have learned anything from his African adventures? Highly unlikely. After all, as his psychiatric report states, Mr Kirk’s impulsivity and poor judgement don’t seem liable to improve over time.