South West Wales

Conman Alan Knight jailed for four and a half years

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Media captionCCTV showed Alan Knight walking and shopping in his local supermarket, as Hywel Griffiths reports

A fraudster who pretended to be a quadriplegic and in a coma for two years to allegedly evade justice has been jailed for four and a half years for theft and forgery.

Alan Knight, 47, from Swansea, conned his neighbour out of £40,000 but was caught by police on shopping trips and holidays.

Knight then admitted himself to hospital claiming his health had worsened, Swansea Crown Court heard.

He was sentenced on Friday.

Judge Paul Thomas QC said Knight, who waived his right to attend the hearing, was devious, a "dishonest a man as I have ever come across".

Image copyright South wales police
Image caption Knight was filmed using a disabled badge to avoid Severn Crossing tolls fees

He said he should serve half his sentence.

Last month, Knight's court case was told he was living on benefits after claiming he had suffered a massive neck injury in a fall.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The judge called Alan Knight devious

The court heard he claimed his injury had caused him to have seizures which left him in a comatose state.

But the whole time he was attempting to evade prosecution after carrying out an elaborate fraud targeting neighbour Ivor Coslett Richards' life savings and shares over a three-year period, the court heard.

It also heard how he "systematically" funnelled £41,570 out of the pensioner's bank account, which he used to pay for holidays and to buy a caravan in Dorset.

Jim Davies, prosecuting, said CCTV footage showed Knight "in high spirits as if he had won the lottery".

The judge said an aggravating feature was that Knight had attempted to put the blame on others for his actions since being arrested in 2011.

He lied to police claiming his estranged son had burgled Mr Richards' home which led to his arrest before a subsequent investigation found it was without foundation.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Police described Knight's crimes as a 'calculated, long-term deception'
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Knight, who had been remanded in custody pending Friday's hearing, waived his right to hear the sentencing

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