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A fraudster claimed he was a quadriplegic and faked being in a vegetative state for two years.
Alan Knight, 47, of Swansea, conned his elderly neighbour out of £40,000 and claimed he was unable to move from the neck down in a bid to avoid being punished for the crime.
He was caught out when doctors watching his hospital room spotted him eating, wiping his face and even writing.
He was also caught on CCTV pushing a shopping trolley around a Tesco store and driving.
The father-of-three’s wife, Helen, kept up the act by being pictured ‘caring’ for her ‘comatose’ husband.
Det Con Paul Harry, from South Wales Police, said: ‘In my entire career this is the most calculated, long-term deception of a vulnerable, elderly neighbour I have ever seen.’
Knight had been due to stand trial but admitted the 19 counts of theft and forgery.
He was warned he faced a jail sentence next month.