Ashya King's Parents Say Police Sympathised With Their Decision To Flee UK

Ashya King's parents say police officers sympathised with their decision to take their sick son out of Britain to receive specialist treatment for a brain tumour.

Brett King, 51, and wife Naghmeh, 45, said the decision to take Ashya, five, out of a British hospital shortly after he had a brain tumour surgically removed had been in his best interests.

The couple spoke as Ashya was due to begin the third week of a £100,000 course of proton beam therapy at a specialist clinic in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

They told the Mail: "We just wanted a treatment that wouldn't fry Ashya's brain."

The couple, from Southsea, Hampshire, said that even police officers had been sympathetic towards them.

Article continues after this video.

They added: "A policeman said 'What kind of world is it when you take a sick child away from his mum."

Family friend Daniel Pask also spoke in their defence. He said: "All they ever wanted was the best for Ashya. That had always been their only concern.

"They hadn't been offered what they wanted in the UK so they decided to look elsewhere."

On Friday, the NHS announced that it would fund Ashya's proton therapy treatment in Prague.

Doctors had advised his parents that he needed a course of radiotherapy following surgery at Southampton General Hospital, Hampshire, to rid him of any remaining cancer cells.

However, Mr and Mrs King insisted that they did not want him to undergo conventional radiotherapy but have the more targeted treatment offered by proton beam therapy.

When denied the treatment they took Ashya out of hospital without the consent or knowledge of doctors and caught a cross Channel ferry to France on August 28 before driving to Spain where they have a home.

The couple were controversially arrested when they were tracked down near Malaga on the Costa Del Sol and thrown into jail for three days after British prosecutors obtained a European arrest warrant.

But they were later freed and a High Court judge in London ruled that they could travel to Prague with Ashya to receive the treatment.

Iva Taťounová, spokeswoman for the Proton Therapy Centre in Prague said Ashya's treatment there was expected to finish on Oct 24.

She said: "He's responding well to the treatment, we are very pleased with his progress. He is also having occupational therapy.

"I expect that once he has finished here he will return to Spain with his family and continue to have treatment there."