independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Runaway mum feared effects of son's treatment

Sally Roberts and her son Neon

A MOTHER who ran away with her seven-year-old son to prevent him receiving life-saving cancer treatment told a court it would severely affect his long-term health and reduce his IQ.

Sally Roberts (37, inset) denied being a "bonkers mother" because she opposed her son, Neon, receiving radiotherapy for a brain tumour.

When she disappeared on Sunday, she was in the middle of a court battle with the child's father, Ben Roberts, who agrees with doctors that their son's chances of survival will be greatly increased with treatment.

Doctors claim that without any form of treatment, Neon, who had his brain tumour removed in October, will die.

Mrs Roberts, from Brighton, appeared at the High Court in London yesterday where she apologised for going on the run, but insisted she was acting in her son's best interests.

She denied that her son was sick, saying that since his operation he was "vibrant and healthy". She added that radiotherapy could deprive Neon of his artistic talents.

The court heard that her legal battle was "principled, reasonable and in the best interests of Neon", in what the judge described as the "stuff of every parent's nightmare".

Mrs Roberts, a former leading DJ, told the judge she feared radiotherapy would do long-term harm to Neon.

She has said that she wants to see if the tumour returns before she resorts to the further treatment, in a procedure described by one doctor as "frying his brains".

She told the court: "I panicked, but I only want the best for my son and I felt (I had) no other choice.

Mrs Roberts said she had researched the side-effects of radiotherapy, including having a lower IQ, increased risk of strokes and infertility.

The case continues. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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