Judge delays ruling on brain tumour boy

New developments in Neon's case lead judge to schedule return to court for later in the month

A High Court judge yesterday cancelled a ruling on whether a seven-year-old boy should undergo radiotherapy treatment following surgery on a brain tumour. Mr Justice Bodey had heard that Neon Roberts's mother, Sally, did not want doctors to begin radiotherapy treatment.

Ms Roberts, 37, had told a High Court hearing in London she feared that radiotherapy would cause Neon long-term harm. But doctors said Neon might die within months without radiotherapy treatment and urged the judge to give them the go-ahead.

Mr Justice Bodey had been due to rule on the dispute at the High Court in London yesterday but he said there had been "developments" and the issue would be kept under review.

Referring to Neon by the letter "N", the judge said: "It had been my intention to deliver a judgment this morning in relation to the issue of the treatment of N's cancer – if he should receive chemotherapy only or radiotherapy as well. Developments have now occurred regarding the state of N's ability to be treated with such therapies at such a time, which have changed the medical landscape. Nature is no respecter of court timetables."

Mr Justice Bodey told the hearing that the medical developments would be kept under review and scheduled a return to court on 18 December.

The legal wranglings over whether Neon is to receive radiotherapy were sparked when Ms Roberts, 37, went on the run with her son to prevent him having the treatment following surgery on a brain tumour.

On Friday, Ms Roberts, originally from New Zealand, apologised to the court, saying her actions were a mistake resulting from panic. She felt she had no choice because doctors were going to plough ahead with this medical treatment against her will. Ms Roberts, a music producer and DJ, said she had feared the radiotherapy could lower his IQ, shorten his life, put him at risk of having strokes and make him infertile. She explained she had told a cancer consultant that she wanted to explore alternative treatments.

She said she fled her home near Tiverton, Devon, with her son after learning that health officials applied for an emergency order to force her to allow Neon to undergo radiotherapy. Their disappearance sparked a nationwide police hunt and they were quickly traced to a friend's house in East Grinstead, West Sussex.

According to Ms Roberts, around 15 officers descended on the address and took them both to a nearby hospital so Neon could be examined.

The schoolboy, who has a twin sister called Elektra, was later taken to the home of his father, Ben Roberts, in Knightsbridge, London, and currently remains there in his care.

During the first hearing at the High Court on Friday the judge heard that Mr Roberts, who is separated from Ms Roberts, had agreed to radiotherapy but was "apprehensive".

A doctor involved in Neon's care told the court that Ms Roberts's comments were very sensible and accepted that there could be side effects, but he added that without radiotherapy the little boy could die within a few months. Mr Justice Bodey said Neon's illness was the "stuff of every parent's nightmare".

Speaking outside court yesterday, Ms Roberts confirmed she had been reunited with her son, saying of his condition: "He's good."

Mr Roberts also attended but refused to comment.

Suggested Topics
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
News
Rainbow List
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker