AN UNQUALIFIED healer has appeared in court following the death of a woman who was attending an alternative therapy workshop at a country hotel in Wiltshire.

The workshop is understood to involve controversial paida lajin therapy, which involves fasting, stretching and slapping participants. 

Hongchi Xiao, 60, of no fixed abode, stood in the dock at Salisbury Magistrates Court on Friday, December 1, after he was extradited to the UK from Australia.

Wiltshire Police charged Xiao with manslaughter by gross negligence on Thursday, November 30, following the death of Danielle Carr-Gomm at Cleeve House, a 19th-century country manor in Seend, in October 2016.

The court heard that Xiao had told Mrs Carr-Gomm, 71, to stop taking her diabetes medication and she died three days later.

Mrs Carr-Gomm, who was born in France and moved to the UK aged 21, was diagnosed with diabetes in 1999 and struggled to inject insulin due to a fear of needles.

Charles Nightingale, prosecuting, said Xiao operated a business providing medical advice or assistance to members of the public but that he was "not qualified by the British Medical Association".

Salisbury Journal: Danielle Carr-Gomm died in October 2016.Danielle Carr-Gomm died in October 2016. (Image: Wiltshire Police)

Mr Nightingale explained how Xiao then moved to Australia where he conducted similar activities.

Nicola Hutchingson, defending from Reeds Solicitors, told the court she had been in contact with Australian lawyers for "many years".

Xiao was previously interviewed in the UK before moving to Australia and Mr Nightingale said he currently had no lawful basis to be in the country.

Magistrates remanded Xiao, who wore a dark green fleece, in custody to appear at Winchester Crown Court for a pre-trial preparation hearing on January 3, 2024.