Breanne McGuire has been charged with fraud.

Breanne McGuire has been charged with fraud.

KITCHENER — A Cambridge teacher suspected of faking having cancer is in hospital with depression.

Breanne McGuire, who taught autistic children at Hespeler Public School, wasn’t in court Thursday for the continuation of her fraud trial in Kitchener’s Ontario Court.

Her lawyer, Bruce Ritter, said she entered hospital in mid-May and is expected to be there four to six more weeks.

She’s in hospital for depression and “depression-related symptoms,’’ he said outside court.

McGuire, 32, pleaded guilty to fraud in April for accepting what the Crown said was more than $14,000 raised at a community fundraiser for her in August, 2008.

Her school held the fundraiser to help cover her medical expenses to treat neuroblastoma, including expensive treatment in Philadelphia which wasn’t available in Canada.

McGuire had told people at the school that she had cancer. She came to school pale and thin with bald spots on her head.

She carried an oxygen machine in a bag and a syringe with morphine in her purse.

People became suspicious when someone noticed she had white makeup on her face and that the bald spots on her head were stubbly as though they’d been shaved.

McGuire’s lawyer says she believed she had cancer at the time. After her arrest, she realized she did not have the disease.

The Crown does not accept this and a mini trial is being held to challenge her “honestly held belief’’ of having cancer.

She’s next scheduled to appear in court in October, but an earlier date will be sought.