Monday 20 November 2017

Parents of missing tumour patient Ashya (5) 'frequently complained about' by neighbours

Brett King and Naghemeh King, the parents of Ashya King
Brett King and Naghemeh King, the parents of Ashya King
Ashya King, who has a brain tumour and was taken by his parents from hospital without the blessing of doctors

Diarmaid Mac Dermott

THE family of the five year old British boy with a brain tumour who was taken from hospital without doctors' consent spent most the past ten years living at an idyllic beachfront development in southern Spain.

I was a neighbour of the Kings for most of that time at the Casares del Mar urbanisation, ten kilometres from the town of Estepona, which is ninety kilometres from Malaga.

I met Brett and Naghmeh King when they came to the urbanisation and expressed an interest in buying a property there , where I also owned a small apartment.

The Kings subsequently purchased two apartments in the development which is fifty metres from the beach with glorious views of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Morocco in the distance.

Ashya King, who has a brain tumour and was taken by his parents from hospital without the blessing of doctors
Ashya King, who has a brain tumour and was taken by his parents from hospital without the blessing of doctors

A major international police search was launched on Friday when it emerged that the Jehovah's Witness couple had taken their five year old son Ashya from Southampton General Hospital where he had been treated for a brain tumour and was on a  24 hour a day feeding system.

Police appealed to the family to contact the authorities immediately so that Ashya can receive urgent medical attention and Interpol issued a red alert for the missing five year old.

Today the only sign of the major alert was the presence of two uniformed members of the Guardia Civil and a marked police car parked discreetly behind the entrance to the gated community.

They were keeping a close eye on all visitors to the urbanisation but there has been no sign of the Kings distinctive Hyundai MPV, which for many years was a very visible mark in the outdoor public car park of the Kings presence.

There was no sign of life at either of the apartments owned by the Kings and many of the mostly Spanish holidaymakers renting nearby apartments were unaware of the massive international police operation.

The King family were well known at Casares del Mar for their Jehovah's Witness beliefs. When they parked their people carrier in the car park they left signs on the windscreen with quotations from the Bible.

Naghmeh King spent many evenings in the summer on the beach with her large and growing family. She sat on a small deck chair with the same signs carrying Bible quotations on either side of her chair.

The King boys attended a local school and every Sunday they left the urbanisation to go to Sunday religious services.

The Kings made no attempt to proselytise other residents of Casares del Mar, although there is a small, active Jehovah's Witness community in the area.

They were not universally liked at Casares del Mar, not because of their religious beliefs but because of what many residents considered anti social behaviour. There were frequent complaints from neighbours because of noise and disruptive behaviour.

Naghmeh King seemed to be pregnant each year and she often expressed a desire to have a daughter to complement her six sons. She did have a baby girl who is now two years old.

The Kings lived for most of the year at Casares del Mar but would disappear for several weeks each year, telling neighbours that they were returning to the UK.

The Casares del Mar urbanisation is a development of four blocks, comprising apartments, duplexs and town houses. Originally started in 1995 it was completed five years ago. It is a highly sought after area, ten kilometres from Estepona, five kilometres from Puerto de la Duquesa which is a popular haunt for Irish holidaymakers and a twenty minute drive from Gibraltar.

One of the most famous residents of Casares del Mar was rock guitarist Alvin Lee who died in 2013. Lee, front man for Ten Years After who played at the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969, was a reclusive owner of a penthouse apartment at Casares del Mar.

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