Sally Roberts, right, and her son Neon. Photo / Supplied
A 7-year-old boy at the centre of a Kiwi mum's court
battle over his cancer treatment must undergo more surgery, a
High Court judge in Britain has ruled.
Sally Roberts, 37, has made headlines in Britain since she
disappeared with son Neon a fortnight ago in the midst of a
legal stoush over whether he should undergo radiation
treatment following surgery to remove a brain tumour.
It sparked a nationwide search until police found them five
Mrs Roberts, formerly of Auckland, fears radiotherapy could
harm her son, but doctors say Neon will die within three
months without treatment.
High Court Justice Sir David Bodey has now ruled Neon must
have an operation to remove a 1.5sq cm tumour, the Daily
He said he sympathised with Mrs Roberts, but agreed with
doctors that treatment was needed "extremely urgently".
Justice Bodey said all operations carried risks, and Neon's
was no exception.
"But taking this on balance, against the expected gains to
Neon in the unhappy position he now finds himself in, I am
quite satisfied that surgery is in his best interests, and I
shall make a decision accordingly so it can go ahead.
"We don't have the luxury of time ... and in the
circumstances, the surgery must be done as soon as possible."
A recent MRI scan revealed Neon had a tumour in the same
place his previous tumour had been removed from.
Doctors said the high-risk growth needed to be removed before
Neon underwent further chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Medical staff at a hospital, which the Telegraph said could
not be named for legal reasons, are now preparing for an
Mrs Roberts and her estranged husband, Londoner Ben Roberts,
will be at the hospital from tomorrow.
The court heard Mrs Roberts did not consent to the treatment
because the medical evidence was flawed and a second opinion
She initially agreed to surgery, but after thinking about it
"long and hard", she decided against it.
"She is not persuaded of the need, and in particular she is
not persuaded by the urgency," her lawyer said.
Mr Roberts, who was not in court, supported the team of
experts calling for surgery.
The Telegraph reported Mrs Roberts has dismissed her legal
team and appointed well known British human rights lawyer
In a television interview last week, Mrs Roberts agreed
running away with her son was "an act of desperation".
"I was on a conveyor belt and I had no choice. They said
treatment must start. I thought if I was going to take him to
the hospital they would never let us go home."
Mrs Roberts said she did not necessarily want to treat Neon
with alternative medicines, but she wanted to explore options
other than radiotherapy.
She said other medical professionals had contacted her in
support of her position that other treatments were available.
"I feel we can still save his life. I'm incredibly confident.
That's exactly why I don't just want to race into
The surgery is expected to go ahead this week.