Chinese 'healer' arrested for death of six-year-old Sydney boy, child's parents also face charges

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Handcuffs
The handcuffs of inmates are seen during a play at a public theatre in Lima, June 20, 2012. Reuters/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

A Chinese “healer” is arrested in the United Kingdom for the death of a six-year-old boy from Sydney. The boy’s parents and grandmother allegedly face charges too.

Hongchi Xiao, who led a “ slapping therapy” seminar that led to a child’s death, was arrested by Sydney’s St George Local Area Command, which teamed up with UK officers, at a London airport, Kidspot reported. The 53-year-old faced Westminster Court earlier this week and was refused bail, which means he will remain behind bars until his extradition.

According to the news outlet, Australian authorities are currently preparing to seek his extradition so he can face criminal charges. Officials were looking for the Chinese man after the death of a diabetic boy who allegedly died after attending his alternative medicine seminars in Hurstville, NSW.

After the boy named Aidan Fenton and his family left the seminar, he was found unconscious and not breathing at the Ritz Hotel. Paramedics tried to revive him, but failed to save his life. Police alleged that the year 1 student was deprived of food and insulin during the course.

Authorities previously arrested the boy’s parents and maternal grandmother and faced manslaughter charges. They were accused of recklessly endangering the boy’s life when they subjected him to Xiao’s session, which allegedly included fasting, stretching and slapping the body until it turned black and blue. Xiao extended his condolences to Aidan's family through a Facebook post, but denied accusations that he was a killer or conman.

The death of Danielle Carr-Gomm, a 71-year-old diabetic, is also linked to Xiao’s treatment, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The woman died during a weekend retreat run by Xiao in south-west England. "I am certain that if she hadn't gone on this course, she would still be alive today," her son, Matthew, told British media.

Not a doctor

"You have to be hard a little bit, cruel a little bit, but not too much," Xiao said about his treatment in a YouTube video earlier this year. He claims that slapping the skin arouses heat that dissolves toxins and targets lung cancer, Parkinson's disease and even itchiness and baldness. "I'm not a doctor, I'm not a healer," he told ABC radio during his visit to Australia.

Fairfax Media reports that the Chinese man claims to be a former Wall Street banker.  He is expected to be sent back to Sydney within the next few weeks after Australian officials finalise his extradition papers.

The Young Turks/YouTube

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