Fake coma man and wife jailed over ‘cock and bull’ story after defrauding elderly man of £41k

Alan and Helen Knight were sentenced to 14 months and 10 months in prison for spending two years pretending he was in a coma to avoid prosecution

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The Independent Online

A conman and his wife who tried to avoid justice for two years after pretending he was in a coma have both been jailed.

Alan Knight had claimed he was too ill to stand trial after swindling a frail 86-year-old man with dementia out of his £41,000 life savings as well as changing the pensioner's will.

He and wife Helen concocted a "cock and bull story", saying the 48-year-old was in a vegetative state after suffering a massive neck injury.

Swansea Crown Court heard the pair went to extraordinary lengths to try to derail his trial.

As well as admitting Knight to hospital - where he spent a total of 10 weeks and was subjected to several expensive tests - the couple arrived at court with him pretending to be unconscious while his 34-year-old wife pushed him in a wheelchair.

A judge was also told they managed to fool their local Labour MP into backing their case and invited local journalists into their specially adapted home while Knight was photographed "in a coma" and wearing an oxygen mask.

However, one police officer continued to track the couple over the months and years and caught Knight driving his car over the Severn Bridge on one of several family holidays, having a go on the dodgems at a fair and the pair posing together at a wedding in Gloucester.

Knight is already serving a four and half year sentence for defrauding the elderly man after being convicted in February  but Judge Huw Davies jailed Alan Knight for a further 14 months to be served consecutively for perverting the course of justice. 

Helen Knight was also handed an immediate prison sentence of 10 months for perverting the cause of justice. She sobbed uncontrollably after she was taken down to the cells.

PA