Man charged with manslaughter after woman dies at ‘slapping therapy’ workshop

Man charged with manslaughter after woman dies at ‘slapping therapy’ workshop

A man has appeared in court charged with manslaughter after an elderly woman died during a “slapping therapy” session at a hotel.

Danielle Carr-Gomm, 71, died at Cleeve House in Seend, Wiltshire, on 20 October 2016 after taking part in a workshop to help with her diabetes. The workshop is understood to have involved “Iajin therapy”, which sees patients being slapped or slapping themselves repeatedly, in the belief that it releases toxins from the blood.

Californian Hongchi Xiao appeared at Salisbury Magistrates Court, Wiltshire, on Friday following his extradition to the UK from Australia.

The 60-year-old, of Cloudbreak, near San Jose, appeared in court wearing a green fleece and spoke only to confirm his name.

Magistrates remanded Hongchi in custody to appear at Winchester Crown Court for a pre-trial preparation hearing on 3 January 2024.

Ms Carr-Gomm, from Lewes, East Sussex, was born in France and moved to the UK aged 21. She was diagnosed with diabetes in 1999 and struggled to inject insulin due to a fear of needles.

Speaking after her death, her son Matthew Carr-Gomm, who lives in New Zealand, said it had been a huge shock for the family.

“She was always keen to try and find alternative methods of treating and dealing with her diabetes and was very interested in alternative and holistic medicine and therapies,” he said. “I know she was desperate to try and cure herself of this disease.

“She always maintained a healthy lifestyle and was adamant that nothing would stop her from living a full life. In recent years, Mum was in a great place with a partner, a lovely home, and was travelling the world. She had a lot of life left in her.”

He said the death of Ms Carr-Gomm had come as a “huge shock” to the family.