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Latest scan on terminally-ill Charlie 'makes for sad reading', court is told

By PA Reporters

Charlie Gard's father yelled "evil" after a lawyer representing Great Ormond Street Hospital broke the news that a report on the terminally-ill baby's latest scan made for "sad reading".

The boy's mother burst into tears as barrister Katie Gollop QC told a judge analysing the latest stage of a legal battle over Charlie's treatment what specialists thought of fresh scan results.

Parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard told Mr Justice Francis that they hadn't seen the report. The judge was analysing issues at a hearing in the family division of the High Court yesterday when news of the scan results emerged.

Earlier this week American specialist Dr Michio Hirano travelled to London to examine Charlie for the first time and discuss the case with Great Ormond Street doctors.

Lawyers have said they will look at reports from Dr Hirano's examination and data from new scans carried out on Charlie over the weekend.

Mr Justice Francis has told Charlie's parents that he will not re-run the case but will consider any "new material''.

Ms Gollop told the judge that specialists had produced a report on the scan and said: "It makes for sad reading."

Ms Yates began to cry and said: "We haven't even read it."

Mr Gard yelled "evil" before walking out of court.

The couple want Mr Justice Francis to rule that their 11-month-old son, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial overseen by a specialist in New York.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, said the therapy is experimental and will not help and that life support treatment should stop.

Charlie's parents have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.

They have also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.

However, the couple have said there is new evidence and want Mr Justice Francis, who in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity, to carry out a fresh analysis.

The judge is due to consider their claims at a hearing starting on Monday. He was examining preliminary issues yesterday when told about the scan results.

Ms Gollop told the judge: "Almost all the medical evidence in this case makes for sad reading. I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to cause distress."

Barrister Grant Armstrong, who represents the couple, said Ms Gollop should not have broken news about the scan before Charlie's parents had seen it.

Lawyers said Dr Hirano and Charlie's parents could give evidence at next week's hearing.

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