Conman who faked coma admits bid to pervert course of justice


A conman who tried to avoid going to court by pretending to be in a coma has admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.

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 then concocted a "cock and bull story" claiming the 48-year-old was in a comatose state after suffering a massive neck injury in a garage door accident.

However, he was caught out after CCTV footage showed him walking around on a family shopping trip.

Mr Knight finally pleaded guilty to 19 charges of theft and fraud and was jailed last November.

And today at Swansea Crown Court, he and his wife both pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice between 2012 and 2014.

Before adjourning proceedings ahead of sentence next month, Judge Peter 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."

Previously, Judge Heywood had described Mr Knight as the "most dishonest man as I've ever come across".

Those comments were made after it emerged Mr Knight took 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.

A court heard that after funnelling £41,570 out of the pensioner's bank account, Mr Knight bought himself a caravan in Dorset.

Police later tried to bring Mr Knight to court at least twice, but he admitted himself to hospital saying his condition had worsened following a freak accident.

When he finally did appear in court, he was wearing a neck brace and being pushed in a wheelchair by wife Helen.

He was originally going to contest the charges - but changed his plea after police obtained CCTV footage of him freely walking around on a shopping trip.

Judge Heywood handed Mr Knight a four-and-a-half-year prison term, but said he would deal with the attempts to evade justice separately.

Appearing via video-link from Parc Prison in Bridgend, Mr Knight pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Mrs Knight, of Sketty, also formally entered a guilty plea too.

However her barrister James Hartson asked for more time to explore the possibility of submitting a "basis of plea" application.

Mr Hartson said while his client admitted she had broke the law, he said there was a possibility she had been subject to a "degree of coercion" by her husband.

Judge Heywood adjourned proceedings for two weeks.