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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
Tax now accounts for ‘nearly 80%’ of the price of a bottle of whisky
news

Arts and Entertainment
Peppa Pig wearing her golden boots
film

"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star

Life and Style
tech

Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses

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

Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Application Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will b...

Recruitment Genius: Continuous Improvement Manager

£41500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Recruitment Genius: Data Entry Administrator

£10670 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee