‘Faith healer’ demonstrates techniques in court

An alleged bogus faith healer accused of conning Black Country people out of thousands of pounds told a jury he has a gift passed down through generations.

An alleged bogus faith healer accused of conning Black Country people out of thousands of pounds told a jury he has a gift passed down through generations.

Niem Mohammed sat on the floor of the courtroom at Wolverhampton Crown Court and assembled a miniature fire pit on top of a silver table surrounded by jars of spices to demonstrate techniques he uses to meditate and pray.

He also passed around scrolls, “talismans” and jewellery which he sends out as part of his work.

The jury heard how clients were given a host of instructions to follow themselves, including wearing the jewellery and talismans and dissolving the scrolls in water and drinking them.

Mohammed, a father-of-four from Wilmslow in Cheshire, denies the claims against him and said faith healing was something that had been in his family for decades.

The 41-year-old, a Muslim who was born in Liverpool, said between the ages of five and 18 he was sent to live in Pakistan to learn about his religious culture.

His forefathers hailed from a sacred area of Ajmer in India, he said.

The jury heard how his father and grandfather started a clairvoyance, faith healing and palmistry business in Scarborough in 1952 after moving to England.

Photographs were shown to the court of the family business, which operated from premises in the seaside town for nearly 50 years, including one image of comedian Bobby Davro having his palm read by the defendant’s brother.

The court also heard yesterday how Mohammed set up his own palm reading booth on Brighton Pier, for £25-£50 a reading.

“This gift is passed on. It was passed on from my great-great-grandfather to my great-grandfather, and from my great-grandfather to my grandfather, and from my grandfather to my father and from my father to me and my brother,” he said.

He denied he was a “swindler” and denied threatening to send “ghosts” to attack client’s homes or that he was misleading people by guaranteeing results, but said there were a variety of reasons why sometimes treatments did not work.

He said: “Having one or two complainants doesn’t mean my 15 years of work is no good. Mohammed, of Altrincham Road in Wilmslow, Cheshire, denies 15 charges of fraud, blackmail, obtaining property by deception and procuring the execution of valuable security by deception.

The trial continues.