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'Faith healer' in court accused of selling bogus Covid-19 'plague protection kits'
16 August 2021, 12:07
A faith healer has appeared in court accused of selling "plague protection kits" as a bogus cure for Covid-19.
Bishop Climate Wiseman, 46, is charged with fraud and unfair trading offences after allegedly offering the package, containing a small bottle of oil and a piece of red yarn, for £91.
Wiseman, the head of the Kingdom Church in Camberwell, south London, is said to have marketed the mixture of cedarwood and hyssop to protect users from coronavirus.
Wearing a leather jacket over a clerical shirt and dog collar, he appeared at Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court on Monday.
He spoke to confirm his name and date of birth before indicating not guilty pleas to a single charge of fraud and two charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations between March 23 and 24.
The charges allege Wiseman claimed the concoction advertised as "Divine Cleansing Oil" or as part of a "Divine Plague Prevention Kit" could be used to "treat, prevent, protect against or cure" coronavirus.
The claims are said to have been made "in person, online, in instructional videos and through testimonial videos".
Prosecutor Ryan Thompson, representing Southwark Council, which is bringing the prosecution, said claims were made that the oil had "cured at least 10 people" in phone calls to the church during an investigation.
He said the charges involved selling a cure for coronavirus which would not work and that there was a "risk of death and harm" to people who bought the oil believing it would help save them.
Maeve Thornton, defending, said the case involved the freedom to practise religion.
The bench of magistrates, chaired by Derek Cock, decided the case was not suitable for them to try and sent it to Inner London Crown Court, where Wiseman is next expected to appear on September 13.