A faith healer has appeared in court accused of selling "plague protection kits" consisting of a package containing a small bottle of oil and a piece of red yarn costing £91.
Bishop Climate Wiseman, 46, who's the head of the Kingdom Church in Camberwell, south London, is said to have marketed the mixture of cedar wood and hyssop "in person, online and in videos" to protect users from coronavirus, as reported by PA.
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 23rd and 24th March.
The charges allege Wiseman claimed the kits 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.
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 added there was a "risk of death and harm" to people who bought the oil believing it would help save them.
Maeve Thornton, for the defence, said the case involved the freedom to practise religion.
The bench of magistrates has sent the case to Inner London Crown Court, where Wiseman is next expected to appear on 13th September.