South West Wales

MP Geraint Davies duped by 'quadriplegic' conman Alan Knight

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Media captionAlan Knight arriving at Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday

An MP has admitted being duped by a conman who pretended to be quadriplegic claiming police were abusing him.

Geraint Davies said he took up Alan Knight's case "in good faith" and wrote to police after meeting his wife, Helen.

Knight, 47, from Swansea, faked the condition to evade prosecution after conning a neighbour out of £40,000.

He admitted himself to hospital to avoid court on "at least two occasions".

The Swansea West MP told BBC Wales: "I met Helen Knight and she described how Alan had a terrible medical condition, they'd been abused by the police, bundled into a squad car and he wasn't very fit to go to court and was now in hospital"

"Basically, all of that was lies.

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Media captionGeraint Davies said Alan Knight was a 'complete fraud' and should face the consequences

"Obviously when Helen described in great detail the condition of her husband, showed me photographs, told me in detail what the police had done and the background to the case it did, on the face of it, sound quite plausible and obviously it's my duty in good faith to take forward people's accusations so they can be answered and that's what I did.

"I basically approached the court and asked the solicitors for any information they had about Alan's medical condition. They had GP's letters claiming he had a problem."

He added: "There was some suggestion that there was conflicting evidence and I asked to have that and I investigated the case but it turned out he didn't have these medical conditions.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Alan Knight was caught on supermarket CCTV
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 Alan Knight was caught on CCTV footage walking around a supermarket

The MP said: "Helen made some serious allegations against the police in terms of brutality and I wrote to them saying she had made those accusations and obviously that urged them to take forward the case and now they've found he's a complete fraudster.

"Clearly, when someone comes to see me and makes various allegations against people I've got to take forward their case in good faith.

Mr Davies added "it's clear now that Alan Knight is a complete fraud and will face penalties in court."

Knight was living on benefits after claiming he had suffered a massive neck injury in a fall.

Swansea Crown Court heard he claimed his injury had caused him to have seizures which left him in a comatose state.

Knight's wife, 33, claimed she had to care for her husband.

'Outraged'

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

The court 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.

Officers tried "at least twice" to bring him court but each time he admitted himself to hospital claiming his condition had worsened.

However, doctors at the hospital spotted him eating, wiping his face and writing.

He appeared in court on Tuesday in a wheel chair and wearing a neck brace to admit the charges.

In letters to her local paper at time of the con, mother-of-three Mrs Knight said: "My husband is quadriplegic and in a comatose condition, bed-bound at home.

"Obviously any movement is not possible. All involved with my husband's care are outraged.

"There have been continuous demands for him to attend court and they won't accept his condition. It's horrendous."

Photographer Darren Britton, who took pictures of Knight, said: "He was very convincing - he was twitching as he was laying down in bed.

"His wife was crying, she seemed to be distraught. I had no idea he was pulling such an elaborate con trick - he has taken a lot of people in."

At her home on Wednesday, Mrs Knight said: "I do not wish to make any comment thank you."

Knight is due to be sentenced next month.

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