Oliver Reed’s old drinking buddy ‘trapped’ in Tesco car park

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Pilot Maurice Kirk, 77, whose ­colourful life has seen him involved in two plane crashes and get a ­restraining order for bothering his MP, has spent the last three “days and nights” ­outside the supermarket.

The former vet claims he would be breaking the law if he drove away.

His van and attached horse box are by the entrance of the store in Taunton, Somerset, and he claims he is trying to return to France.

Mr Kirk says police officers pulled him over and told him it was illegal for him to drive in this country as he does not have a valid UK licence.

He said: “I’m camping out of the van. I’m here during the day and go to sleep in it at night.

“I’ve got a perfectly valid French licence. I spend most of my time in France and pop over to England to sort some things out. I could be arrested if I get into my vehicle and drive it again. I need to get to France, but I’m stuck because of this.”

Mr Kirk has been involved in a number of narrow escapes. Less than two years ago he walked away with only a few bruises after crashing his plane in a field near Taunton.

In 2016, he sparked a major search after going missing while trying to fly a 1940s plane the length of Africa.

He was discovered between Sudan and Ethiopia. And he was arrested in the US in 2008 after trying to land at George Bush’s ranch in Texas during a bid to fly solo around the world.

Mr Kirk said he wanted to “drop in” to thank the American President after US coastguards rescued him from shark-infested waters.

He was also accused of stalking Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow. He was found not guilty but given a restraining order after the jury heard Ms Pow got a letter from Mr Kirk ­containing a white powder. The police have been contacted for comment.

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