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Swansea couple to be sentenced over coma con

Published 02/10/2015

Alan Knight was previously jailed for four-and-a-half years at Swansea Crown Court (South Wales Police/PA)
Alan Knight was previously jailed for four-and-a-half years at Swansea Crown Court (South Wales Police/PA)

A conman and his wife who tried to avoid justice for two years after pretending he was in a coma will learn their punishment.

Alan Knight had claimed he was too ill to stand trial after swindling a frail 86-year-old man with dementia out of more than £41,000.

He and wife Helen, of Sketty in Swansea, then concocted a "cock and bull story" saying the 48-year-old had suffered a massive neck injury in a freak accident.

And when police tried to bring Knight to court at least twice, he admitted himself to hospital saying his condition had worsened.

When he finally did appear, he pretended to be unconscious and wore a neck brace while being pushed in a wheelchair by his 34-year-old wife.

However, detectives managed to prove there was absolutely nothing wrong with Knight after tracing his Tesco Clubcard before obtaining CCTV footage of him freely walking around in the supermarket.

Knight was later given a four-and-a-half year prison sentence for the theft - which saw him take his elderly neighbour Ivor Richards for every last penny between 2008 and 2009.

As well as forging cheques and emptying an Isa savings account he even changed Mr Richards's will so that everything would be left to him.

Judge Heywood, who branded the defendant the "most dishonest man" he had ever met, said he would deal with his lies to the court separately.

In August, Mr Knight finally admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice between 2012 and 2014.

His 34-year-old wife also pleaded guilty but planned to submit a "basis of plea" application.

Mrs Knight's barrister James Hartson said there was a possibility his client had been subject to a "degree of coercion" by her husband.

Before adjourning proceedings ahead of sentencing, Judge Heywood said: "I previously made strong comments about this cock and bull story which was being presented to the court - which he (Mr Knight) now accepts was false."

Knight will appear at Swansea Crown Court today via video link from HMP Parc Prison in Bridgend. His wife was granted bail at a previous hearing.

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