Man charged after woman dies during ‘slapping therapy’ at Wiltshire hotel

A man has been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence after a 71-year-old woman died during “slapping therapy” at a country hotel.

Danielle Carr-Gomm died while taking part in the session at Cleeve House in Seend, Wiltshire, on 20 October 2016.

The workshop is understood to involve paida lajin therapy, which involves patients being slapped or slapping themselves repeatedly. Carr-Gomm, from Lewes in East Sussex, had attended the session to help with her diabetes.

Wiltshire police said on Thursday that Hongchi Xiao, 60, of Cloudbreak, California, had been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence.

Police said: “Hongchi Xiao, 60, of Cloudbreak, California, returned to the United Kingdom from Australia on an extradition warrant and has been taken to Gablecross custody in Swindon where he was charged. This relates to the death of Danielle Carr-Gomm, 71, at Cleeve House in Seend in October 2016.”

They added that the man was due to appear before Salisbury magistrates court on Friday.

Carr-Gomm’s family had previously said she had embraced alternative and holistic medicine and therapies.

Born in France, Carr-Gomm moved to the UK aged 21. She was diagnosed with diabetes in 1999 but struggled to inject insulin owing to her fear of needles.

Her son Matthew Carr-Gomm, who lives in New Zealand, said: “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. 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 added that his mother’s death had come as a “huge shock” to the family.