The criminal prosecution of a man alleged to have sold bleach as a “cure” to cancer, HIV, and Covid-19 will continue after an appeal to have his case paused was declined.
Roger Blake, who calls himself a “living man, roger-william, house of blake”, has failed in his bid to appeal a High Court decision declining a halt in his criminal court case.
Blake allegedly sold chlorine dioxide as a “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS) in 2020.
In July 2020 police searched two properties associated with Blake and NZ Water Purifier Ltd, a company of which he was the director, based in the Hauraki Plains after alleged breaches of the Medicines Act 1981, which prohibits the sale, distribution and advertisement of new medicines without consent and possessing prescription medication “without reasonable excuse”.
Under this Act, which Medsafe administers, it is unlawful to make therapeutic claims about an unapproved medicine.
Charges were laid against Blake and NZ Water Purifier Ltd five months later.
Blake describes himself as a bishop of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing.
The non-religious “church” originated in Florida and its sole function is to promote the use of MMS, a bleach formula marketed as a cure to Covid-19 with potentially deadly side effects.
Blake’s Ngatea property was searched just five days after a similar raid at a Florida property associated with Genesis II.
Four months later Blake launched a judicial review against police, Medsafe, the Thames District Court and nine other people, claiming the warrants were unlawful “fishing expeditions”.
In February this year, Blake turned to the High Court to stop the prosecution while waiting for the results of the judicial review, but that was declined in June.
He then applied to the Court of Appeal to overturn that decision on “all aspects” of the High Court judge’s decision, which Blake claimed was “biased and ignorant of the facts”.
But, again, his appeal was rejected.
The senior court said in today’s judgment that the High Court had previously ruled a stay wasn’t appropriate in the broader context.
“Something exceptional is required to entertain such a challenge and, the judge reasoned, the same must also be true when a stay is sought pending such a challenge,” the decision said.
The judge believed Blake’s arguments “fell well short of that high threshold”.
In his application to the Court of Appeal, many of his grounds allege the High Court judge made errors relating to Blake’s “actual name/status/fictional personage” and status as a “Minister of God’s Word”.
He alleged the police, courts and Medsafe had admitted wrongdoing in their execution of the search warrants, which was rejected by all parties.
The “living man” did not meet the high threshold needed to halt a prosecution with a stay application, the senior court decision ruled.
“Submissions based on constructs like a ‘living man’ who is somehow separate from the actual person have been squarely rejected,” the decision said.
What he was seeking would not have been in the interest of justice, today’s decision said.
Blake is scheduled to return to the Thames District Court on November 25.