Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

'Developments' in radiotherapy case

Sally Roberts fears that radiotherapy would put her son at further risk

A High Court judge has said there had been "developments" in the condition of a seven-year-old boy at the centre of a legal dispute over cancer treatment.

Mr Justice Bodey had been due to make a ruling on whether Neon Roberts should undergo radiotherapy treatment, following surgery on a brain tumour, against the wishes of his mother Sally.

But he told a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London that he was not delivering the ruling because of the developments.

Ms Roberts, 37, a New Zealander who lives in Brighton, East Sussex, said after the hearing that she could not give more details. Neon's father Ben, who lives in London and is separated from Ms Roberts, said he could not comment.

Mr Justice Bodey said Neon's case was being kept under review and a further hearing had been scheduled for December 18.

The judge heard argument on Friday about whether doctors should start radiotherapy treatment. Ms Roberts said she feared radiotherapy would cause Neon long-term harm.

But doctors said Neon might die within months without the treatment. Mr Roberts had agreed to radiotherapy but was "apprehensive", the court heard.

The judge said Neon's illness was the "stuff of every parent's nightmare". He ruled that hospitals where Neon received treatment and the medics involved should not be identified in reports.

The case hit the headlines a few days ago when Ms Roberts, who was then living in Tiverton, Devon, disappeared with Neon. Both were found safe after a judge ordered a search.

Ms Roberts apologised for vanishing and told Mr Justice Bodey that she had panicked.

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