Calgary cancer faker pleads guilty to fraud

Kristopher Cook, pictured in this Sept. 15, 2012 photo, is charged with two counts of fraud over...

Kristopher Cook, pictured in this Sept. 15, 2012 photo, is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and is accused of raising more than $7,500 under false pretenses. (Brendan Miller/Special to QMI Agency)

Kevin Martin, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:13 PM ET

CALGARY -- The Calgary man who faked cancer to swindled cash at a fundraiser pleaded guilty Thursday to fraud.

Kristopher Nicholas Cook, who was beaten up in remand and unable to attend two previous court appearances, stood in the prisoner's dock as his lawyer entered the plea on his behalf.

"The plea is to count two on the information, sir, and that plea is guilty," defence counsel Joel Chevrefils told provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk.

Crown prosecutor Mike Ewenson said a second fraud charge surrounding the same allegations will be withdrawn once Cook is sentenced at a later date.

Cook, sporting bruises under both eyes as a result of a broken nose suffered in a jail house assault, did not speak during the brief proceeding.

He will undergo psychiatric and psychological testing and a pre-sentence report will be prepared pending his next court appearance.

Outside court, Chevrefils said his client had been placed on administrative segregation as a result of an assault by other inmates in his cell.

Cook was hospitalized Sept. 16, suffering wounds including a ruptured spleen, concussion and broken nose.

Chevrefils said his clients quick guilty plea illustrates how sorry he is for defrauding his victims, including some friends, by claiming to be suffering from cancer.

"He immediately wanted to take responsibility for what he had done," Chevrefils said.

"He feels terrible about it."

Chevrefils said that although Cook has been returned to the Calgary Remand Centre, he isn't mingling with other inmates, believing his attack was a result of the charges against him.

"He has been put on administrative segregation, which means he has been isolated from all the other inmates," the lawyer said.

Chevrefils said while that affords Cook protection from another assault, "the flip side of that is it's hard time."

He said Cook only gets to leave his cell for half an hour twice a day to do things like shower and make phone calls.

Chevrefils asked Semenuk to order a mental health assessment in part to determine if Cook requires counselling.

"He wants to get some help," the lawyer said.

Sentencing submissions are scheduled for Nov. 13.


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