Conman pretended to be in coma for two years to cover up £41,000 fraud on elderly neighbour

Alan Knight claimed to be paraplegic but was caught out going on shopping trips and family holidays

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The Independent Online

A man who pretended to be so ill that he would often fall into a coma has been caught out after he was filmed walking in and out of Tesco and going on family holidays.

Alan Knight, 47, of Swansea, South Wales, pretended to be a paraplegic whose condition was so bad he would frequently experience seizures and go into a coma-like state in order to avoid fraud charges and facing trial.

His wife, Helen, also claimed that she had had to care for Knight, who she said had snapped his neck after falling backwards as he pulled down the garage door, according to the Daily Mail.

But it was revealed in court that Knight’s two-year long fake illness was part of an elaborate plan to cover up his fraudulent actions involving his elderly neighbour, from whom he had stolen £41,000.

Knight had claimed to be caring for his elderly next door neighbour Ivor Richards, who was suffering from dementia, and had gone as far as to claim he had been written into his neighbour’s will as a beneficiary.

Instead of caring for Mr Richards, Knight had instead systematically “drained” the elderly neighbour’s accounts, DC Paul Harry, the lead officer in the case said, spending the money on a caravan and holidays to Dorset, according to Wales Online.

The father of three was caught twice by police on CCTV, once walking in and out of Tesco, and once in his car at the Severn bridge toll as he travelled back from a holiday on the coast.

Police had twice tried to bring Knight to court, but each time he had admitted himself to hospital claiming that his condition had suddenly worsened in order to escape standing trial.

Doctors at the hospitals Knight appeared at saw him eating, wiping his face and writing, however.

Knight eventually appeared in court in a wheelchair and neck brace and admitted to 19 counts of forgery, fraud and theft.

DC Harry told Wales Online: “Unfortunately Mr Richards had no family and Knight took it upon himself to start caring for him. This is the most calculating, long-term deception of a vulnerable neighbour I have come across.”

Knight has been remanded in custody for three weeks, when he will then be sentenced.