A conman and his wife who tried to avoid justice for two years after pretending he was in a coma have both been jailed.
In his remarks, Prosecutor Jim Davis stated that “the pair went to extraordinary lengths to try to convince doctors Alan Knight was suffering a mystery illness that led to fits and left him frequently comatose or semicomatose”, adding that “the pair went to their MP and the local press to try to back their story that Knight was unfit to stand trial on charges of theft and fraud”.
Police found he had forged the will using the names of two women from a newspaper obituary section as witnesses.
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.
They even had him admitted to hospital for 10 weeks, during which he had several expensive tests.
She also invited local reporters into their house and photographers were encouraged to take pictures of him apparently in a coma and wearing an oxygen mask.
But hospital doctors were amazed when cups of water at his bedside “magically disappeared” in the night.
“But a doctor who saw Alan Knight found muscle definition in his legs suggested he had been walking”.
He and his wife subsequently both admitted perverting the course of justice over their scam.
After tracing the Knights’ Tesco Clubcard, he obtained CCTV footage of Mr Knight freely walking around a number of the supermarket’s stores.
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.
Alan, who was jailed in November 2014 on fraud and forgery charges, will serve another 14 months on top of his current prison term.
Judge Huw Davies QC told the couple their behaviour was “unscrupulous and selfish”.
‘Helen Knight would adopt the guise of a full time carer appearing to attend to her husband’s needs – even having your home adapted.
He said: “It resulted in significant delay in bringing the offender to justice”.
Judge Davies also gave a formal commendation to Det Con Harry – telling the officer: ‘If it was not you this case may not have come to the proper conclusion that it did’.
Bizarrely, Knight, who appeared via video link from Parc Prison, Bridgend, appeared still be in a wheelchair.
“They wanted to make sure the case was dropped”.