A FORMER vet has been found not guilty of stalking his MP after telling a jury he was merely trying to enlist her help in a long running dispute with the police.

Maurice Kirk was cleared of stalking Taunton Deane Conservative MP Rebecca Pow after giving evidence that he never intended to cause her anxiety or distress.

He denied sending a white powder to the MP in 2019 and said it was toothpaste he had used to stick documents together and which had dried while his letter was in transit.

He even offered to eat the powder to prove it was harmless but was unable to do so because it had been treated with harmful chemicals while being analysed by forensic scientists.

A jury at Exeter Crown Court returned a verdict of not guilty after more than six hours of deliberation and Mr Kirk, who had conducted his own defence in court, sobbed as he thanked them.

The prosecution has applied for a restraining order which would prevent him contacting Ms Pow again other than by e-mail to her office or a letter to the House of Commons.

Judge Peter Johnson said he would decide on whether to make the order after giving Mr Kirk a chance to consider it.

Mr Kirk found fame during the 1960s and 1970s as a stunt pilot and claims to have been injured while helping a fellow flyer film the scene in the James Bond film Moonraker in which Roger Moore is almost swept over a waterfall in South America.

He has been conducting a one-man campaign against the police for almost 50 years after being accused of firearm offences in 1972.

He claimed he had been framed in a case in which he was accused of fitting a real Lewis machine gun to a First World War bi-plane that he flew at air displays.

It has led to a long series of civil and criminal court cases culminating in a jail sentence for harassing a psychiatrist who had diagnosed him as being paranoid.

Mr King was in Cardiff Prison in May 2019 when he sent a letter to Ms Pow’s home in a village near Taunton that contained the white powder.

The letter sought the MPs help with his campaign but led to the area around her home being sealed off and Ms Pow fearing that the package contained anthrax spores.

Mr Kirk continued trying to get a response from the MP after being released from jail later in 2019 and was alleged to have harassed her staff in May 2020 before going to her home to hand-deliver a second letter.

She told the court she felt sick with fear and could not sleep, particularly after seeing a post on Mr Kirk’s website which showed two images of her next to a photo of him toting a gun over his shoulder.

Mr Kirk, 76, of Westgate Street, Taunton, denied stalking that caused serious alarm or distress and was found not guilty.

He gave evidence last week that he had not tried to cause her any harm of distress and was trying to get her to communicate with him as a constituent.

He said: “I was not stalking her. I never went out of my way to do anything other than seeking her help. I did not think there were any sinister connotations. I just went to ask for help.”

Mr Kirk told the jury he had no knowledge of the white powder in the letter which arrived at the MP’s home on May 17, 2019, but assumed it was toothpaste which he had used as glue and which had dried and turned to powder.

He denied each of the specific allegations against him. He said he had not been abusive to Ms Pow’s constituency staff.

He said the picture of himself with a shotgun in fact showed him with a harmless dummy weapon.