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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 18:43 GMT 19:43 UK
'Disgraceful' vet struck off
The case was heard at the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court
A vet and former drinking mate of actor Oliver Reed has been kicked out of the profession for "disgraceful" conduct.

Maurice Kirk, 57, from south Wales chalked up a string of court appearances before he was summoned by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to a hearing Wednesday.

Nicknamed "The Flying Vet," Mr Kirk has been fined 25,000 since 1995 for convictions including an attack on a teenage girl.

Oliver Reed
Mr Kirk was a drinking pal of actor Oliver Reed
A committee of professionals at the Old Bailey ruled he was unfit to practice, but the surgeon vowed to appeal its decision to strike him off the list of registered vets.

The RCVS called Mr Kirk, of St Donats near Llantwit Major, as he cultivated a "bad boy" image during his 33 years in the profession.

He claimed his personal behavior did not impinge on his profession as a vet.

Catalogue of incidents

The court heard he had previously been involved in police car chases.

In 1995, he was fined 500 after leaving a girl, 17, bruised following an assault.

He was ordered to pay her 350 in compensation, but insisted the teenager was a burglar.


His disdain for lawful authority, for normal social rules reveals a lack of control that renders him unfit to practise

Barrister Alison Foster
In 1996, he was caught dangerously driving animals to his practice at nearby Barry, south Wales, but sped off, leaving a police officer on his knees at the roadside.

In 2001, he was stopped by police on suspicion of drink-driving, but refused to give a breath sample and shone a torch in to a policeman's eyes.

In another incident, he hurled abuse at police while half-naked on a local beach after being called to treat an injured dog.

Mr Kirk explained he was "stripped to the waist" as he had been treating a cow with a prolapsed womb.

'Uncontrollable rant'

On Wednesday, RCVS barrister Ailson Foster said: "Police were notified by members of the public of an injured dog, which had possibly fallen over the cliff.

He "ranted" in an "uncontrolled" fashion about the call-out time and the inadequacies of other agencies, it was said.

"'He continued shouting and his behaviour shocked and alarmed members of the public," Miss Foster added.

"He stormed off with the dog and it is reported they saw him roughly put the dog in the car."

The barrister accused the Bristol University graduate of "a wilful refusal to comply with the law [which] casts a serious shadow on the reputation of a professional."

"His disdain for lawful authority, for normal social rules reveals a lack of control that renders him unfit to practise," she said.

"His taunting of the police and provocative behaviour whilst they seek to carry out their duty brings serious discredit upon the veterinary profession.

"His disturbing behaviour is shocking and apparently irrationally exaggerated.

"The manner in which he now deals with the public and veterinary matters is clouded by his misperceptions."

Appeal planned

Dubbed The Flying Vet, Mr Kirk recently flew solo in a 22,000km race from London to Sydney in a clapped-out plane.

Giving evidence, he told how, in 1994, he walked out of court to deliver a calf as Tredegar magistrates considered his driving future; he was subsequently banned.

On Wednesday, he denied he had been rude or aggressive during the beach incident, but merely concerned about the dog.

The RCVS committee considered 13 separate incidents against Mr Kirk before striking him off the register.

Committee chairman Brian Jennings told him: "You are guilty of disgraceful conduct in a professional respect."

Mr Kirk insisted his antics played no part in his professional life as a vet and said he would lodge an appeal.

See also:

15 May 99 | UK
24 May 99 | Entertainment
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