Speed Reads


Man fakes coma for 2 years to avoid going to court

If you're trying to get out of a court date, faking a coma probably isn't the best idea.

Alan Knight, 47, of Swansea, Wales, pretended to be quadriplegic and comatose for two years to avoid appearing in court for stealing more than 40,000 pounds (roughly $64,000) from his neighbor. Prosecutors claimed that Knight had stolen the money from the bank account of the neighbor, who is elderly and has Alzheimer's disease.

Knight claimed that he was "so sick he sometimes fell into a coma," according to The Associated Press. He apparently checked himself into a hospital to avoid court, claiming he suffered from seizures. Meanwhile, Knight's wife, Helen Knight, confirmed his "illness," telling The South Wales Evening Post that a neck injury left her husband "quadriplegic and in a comatose condition, bed-bound at home."

But when surveillance cameras caught Knight driving and walking around grocery stores in the U.K., his trick was over. Knight appeared in the Swansea Crown Court Tuesday wearing a neck brace and sitting in a wheelchair, but he eventually pleaded guilty to 19 counts, including fraud, forgery, and theft.

The court's judge, Paul Thomas, said Knight was "a very accomplished and determined actor, and his illness was "simply nonexistent." Knight will be sentenced on Nov. 7.