21/12/2012 10:36 GMT | Updated 21/12/2012 10:50 GMT

Neon Roberts' Cancer Treatment Can Go Ahead Despite Mother's Wishes, High Court Rules

Seven-year-old Neon Roberts can have radiotherapy treatment, following surgery on a brain tumour, against his mother Sally's wishes, a High Court judge has ruled

sally roberts

Sally Roberts wanted further medical opinion before proceeding with more surgery

Sally Roberts, 37, a New Zealander who lives in Brighton, East Sussex, said she feared that radiotherapy would cause long-term harm to her son Neon, and argued that "credible" alternative treatment was available.

Ms Roberts had told the court she was not a "bonkers mother".

She said she feared that radiotherapy would reduce Neon's intelligence quotient (IQ), shorten his life, put him at risk of having strokes and make him infertile.

Neon's father Ben, who lives in London and is separated from Ms Roberts, had agreed to radiotherapy but was "apprehensive", the court heard.

"The mother has been through a terrible time. This sort of thing is every parent's nightmare," said the judge.

"But I am worried that her judgment has gone awry on the question of the seriousness of the threat which Neon faces."

Specialists treating Neon accepted that there were side-effects to radiotherapy but said that without the treatment the youngster could die within a few months.

Mr Justice Bodey, who heard evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, said radiotherapy treatment could start.