Controversial 'slapping therapist' arrested in London over Australian boy's death

Controversial 'slapping therapist' arrested in London over Australian boy's death
PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao

A controversial "slapping therapist" wanted in Australia over the death of a six-year-old boy has been arrested in London.

Australian authorities are working to seek the extradition of Chinese national Xiao Hongchi, 53, to face manslaughter charges, reports say.

Six-year-old diabetic Aidan Fenton was found dead after his parents brought him to Xiao's alternative medicine workshop in Sydney in April 2015.

Xiao was interviewed by police before he left Australia shortly after the incident.

In a YouTube video released last year, Xiao maintained that Fenton's death was an accident.

"This has nothing to do with the workshop. This boy had a lot of diseases, more than we ever know," he said.

Fenton's mother, father, and maternal grandmother were arrested in March this year after a long investigation, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

They are accused of recklessly endangering the boy's life, and each face a charge of manslaughter.

Xiao is also linked to the death of a 71-year-old British woman.

Danielle Carr-Gomm, also a diabetic, died in October last year during a weekend retreat conducted by Xiao in South West England.

In his sessions, Xiao teaches practitioners to rid their bodies of toxins using the paida lajin method, which involves fasting, stretching and slapping the body until bruises appear. To believers, the bruises are indications of "poisoned blood".

Paida lajin has been criticised for having no scientific or medical basis, but it has a good number of followers as well, a 2015 BBC report said.

huizhen@sph.com.sg

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