Man Faked Quadriplegia in Effort to Duck Court

Alan Knight admitting to stealing $65K from neighbor
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2014 9:34 AM CDT
In this image made available by South Wales Police shows a video image Alan Knight,of Swansea south Wales, right, in a supermarket in Bishop's Cleeve in western England in June 2014.   (AP Photo/South Wales Police)

(Newser) – Some people work so hard to not have to work: Such is the case of Alan Knight, a 47-year-old Welsh man who conned $65,000 out of his neighbor, an 85-year-old pensioner with dementia. He then went to great lengths to avoid prosecution—claiming to be a quadriplegic and even pretending he was comatose. The Telegraph reports authorities tried at least two times to haul him to court; in both instances, his condition suddenly grew more serious and he admitted himself to the hospital. Surveillance video proved to be his undoing: He was spotted walking normally at grocery stores (police used his supermarket card to track him) and filmed driving through a toll booth; nurses and doctors later saw him feeding himself, wiping his face, and writing, reports the BBC.

Knight, whose 33-year-old wife pretended to care for him, was eventually told he'd stand trial regardless of his presence. So he showed up in a wheelchair and neck brace, and yesterday in court the father of three admitted to 19 charges of forgery, fraud, and theft; prosecutors alleged he "systematically" funneled the money out of his neighbor's accounts over the span of three years, reports the Daily Mail. "Although a very accomplished and determined actor, he is in nothing like the condition he claims to be, and the conditions he claims to be suffering from are simply non-existent," the judge said. Knight is in custody and will be sentenced next month. His neighbor has apparently been reimbursed by the bank. (Last year, a con man who pretended to be a Rockefeller was found guilty of murder.)

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