'Coma' fraudster jailed for con
A fraudster who allegedly tried to evade justice by claiming to be a comatose quadriplegic has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after conning his frail neighbour out of more than £40,000.
Alan Knight cleaned out the bank accounts of dementia sufferer Ivor Richards after the pensioner was taken into a care home, Swansea Crown Court heard .
It was later discovered that the 47-year-old had also forged Mr Richards' will - even using the names of two dead women from a newspaper's obituary section as counter-signatories.
After he was arrested, he even tried to blame his estranged son, claiming he was trying to set up him up.
Knight, who refused to attend court while on remand at Swansea Prison, had previously said he was too unwell to attend proceedings after suffering a serious neck injury.
He originally was going to contest the fraud and theft charges against him.
However, he changed his plea after CCTV footage showed him walking around on a shopping trip.
Judge Paul Thomas today passed sentence on the basis of the fraud and theft charges.
He said accusations that Knight had tried to avoid court by faking illness would be the subject of a separate investigation.
In passing sentence, Judge Thomas labelled jobless Knight as a thoroughly dishonest man who would use every trick in the book to try and escape responsibilty for his actions.
He said: "Alan Knight is as dishonest a man as I have ever come across.
"Over a period of two years he took a man in his 80s for every penny he could.
"He took advantage of that gentleman's declining mental health.
"First he pretended to befriend him and then using this trust he systematically stole money that amounted to more than £40,000 which that gentleman had worked hard to build up most of his working life.
"When these matters came to light he decided to do everything he could to avoid responsibility for his actions.
"He tried to blame his own son for what he had done - which resulted in him being arrested and accused his own son of being bribed by a police officer.
"It is clear that Alan Knight would stop at nothing in order to try and save his own skin."