Preacher Bishop Climate Wiseman caught selling bogus cure for Covid avoids jail

Bishop Climate Wiseman, 46, speaks to his supporters outside Inner London Crown Court, where he is charged with fraud and unfair trading offences over the selling of 'plague protection kits' with claims a mixture made from oil and red string, was a cure for Covid-19. Picture date: Monday September 13, 2021.
Bishop Climate Wiseman, 46, seen in 2021 speaking to his supporters outside Inner London Crown Court Credit: PA

A preacher convicted of fraud for selling a bogus cure for Covid has been handed a suspended prison sentence. Bishop Climate Wiseman, 47, warned his followers they could “end up dropping dead” during the pandemic and urged them to get the mixture – consisting of hyssop, cedarwood and olive oil – as soon as possible.

'Plague protection oil'

The oil was sold for £91 on its own, under names including “divine cleansing oil” and “plague protection oil”, or as part of a “divine plague protection kit”, containing a card and scarlet yarn. At Inner London Crown Court on Monday, Wiseman was sentenced to one year in jail, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 130 hours of unpaid community work. He was also made to pay a total of £60,072. Wiseman, who is head of the Kingdom Church in Camberwell, south London, told the court he was inspired by a visitation from God telling him he is a prophet who can cure coronavirus. Some 10 witnesses from his congregation, including nurses, told how they were cured or prevented from getting Covid-19 after using the oil by steam inhalation or rubbing it on their skin. Wiseman, who offered other products for sale, including an oil to help in court cases, denied fraud and two alternative counts under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. But he was found guilty by a jury in December 2022 of the more serious offence of fraud between March 23 2020 and March 24 2021. Also known as Dr Climate Wiseman and Climate Irungu, he and his church were investigated in 2016 for offering an oil for sale which was said to cure cancer, but no prosecution was brought after the product was withdrawn.

Bishop Climate Wiseman, 46, pictured in South London in 2021 Credit: PA

Southwark Trading Standards was alerted to the Covid scam on March 24 2020 – the day after the country was plunged into a nationwide lockdown. Prosecutor Richard Heller had told the jury that Wiseman, calling himself “Prophet Climate Wiseman”, said his oil mixture, containing “cedarwood, hyssop and prayer” had “sat upon the altar for seven days”. On his blogging site, Wiseman claimed the special ingredients in the oil “act like an invisible barrier” and that “coronavirus and any other deadly thing will pass over”. He said, through its use, together with a scarlet yarn, it killed coronavirus, which “can’t stand the power of the oil” and that by coughing the virus would be expelled from the body and “die”. Wiseman said his cure was based on the teachings of the Bible and in a video implored viewers, their friends and family members to get their kits as soon as possible.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...