BARRY'S 'flying vet' was this week cleared of charges relating to owning and trying to sell a machine gun.

Maurice Kirk, 64, formerly a veterinary surgeon in Barry, had been accused of trying to sell a Lewis Machine Gun to a first world war collector for £2,000.

Police alleged that the gun had been advertised as a weapon that could be fired, and prosecutors told the jury at Cardiff Crown Court that they should be very careful when examining it, saying it was capable of being 'dry-fired'.

But Mr Kirk, who denied the charges and defended himself, maintained that the gun had been de-activated, and claimed it was a collectors item.

After a 13-day trial, Kirk was found not guilty on Tuesday - to the delight of his on-line fans and followers from Barry and across the world.

Congratulation messages were posted on his website soon after the verdict was announced.

Kirk made international headlines in 2008 when he landed near George Bush’ s ranch in Texas and was remanded in a psychiatric ward.