Ashya's parents arrested in Spain

The parents of a missing five-year-old boy who took him from hospital without doctors' consent, have been arrested in Spain and the child has been taken to hospital.

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 (Hampshire Police/PA)

Ashya King's family took him from Southampton General Hospital on Thursday afternoon and travelled on a ferry to France some two hours later.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead of Hampshire Constabulary said the boy's parents Brett King, 51, and Naghemeh King, 45, had been arrested at 10pm local time after Spanish police stopped the family's vehicle.

"We don't have many details on Ashya's condition at this point in time but what we do know is that he was showing no visible signs of distress," Mr Shead said.

"Ashya has now been taken to a hospital in Malaga. The parents have been arrested. They have been taken to a police station."

Spanish police were acting on a European arrest warrant requested by Hampshire Constabulary when they arrested the Kings.

When they stopped the family's Hyundai people carrier officers found Ashya and his parents inside.

Mr Shead said: "There are no winners in this situation. I've said all along that this must be a terribly distressing time for Ashya's family and I stand by that now."

He added that it was too soon to say when Ashya would come back to the UK but Southampton General Hospital have been contacted so they can liaise with the medical taking care of him in Spain.

"Ashya's brothers and sisters were not in the vehicle," Mr Shead said. "We have located them. They're all okay, they're fine. They are actually in a hotel about 10 miles away."

He also said that a team of Hampshire police officers would be going to Spain tomorrow to continue the investigation.

Meanwhile, in a video blog posted on YouTube by Ashya's brother Naveed, their father, a Jehovah's Witness, said Ashya was doing well and explained that the family had decided to take him out of hospital to seek a cancer treatment not available on the NHS.

Sitting on a bed with Ashya in his arms, Mr King said: ''We were most disturbed today to find that his face is all over the internet and newspapers and we have been labelled as kidnappers putting his life at risk, neglect.''

Mr King said there had been ''a lot of talk'' about the machine used to feed Ashya and whether they could make it work.

Police had warned that the family might not be able to work the machine and that it would run out of battery power.

''As you can see there's nothing wrong with him, he is very happy actually since we took him out of hospital,'' Mr King said.

''He has been smiling a lot more, he has very much been interacting with us.

''But I just wanted to say very quickly why we took him out of the hospital.

''The surgeon did a wonderful job on his head that took out the brain tumour, completely they reckon.

''But straight away afterwards he went into what's called posterior fossa syndrome, which means very limited moving or talking or doing anything.''

Mr King said he had spoken to specialists following Ashya's surgery and had requested proton beam treatment, which was not available on the NHS.

''Proton beam is so much better for children with brain cancer,'' he said. ''It zones in on the area, whereby normal radiation passes right through his head and comes out the other side and destroys everything in his head.

''We pleaded with them for proton beam treatment. They looked at me straight in the face and said with his cancer - which is called medulloblastoma - it would have no benefit whatsoever.

''I went straight back to my room and looked it up and the American sites and French sites and Switzerland sites where they have proton beam said the opposite, it would be very beneficial for him.

''Then I spoke to them again, I wrote a letter which he never responded to, saying OK - I will sell my property in order to pay for the proton beam.''

Mr King said his son's treatment seemed like ''trial and error'' and he was told if he questioned the treatment the hospital would seek an emergency protection order.

He said: ''After that I realised I can't speak to the oncologist at all, because if I actually ask anything or give any doubt I wasn't in full accord with them, they were going to get a protection order which meant in his deepest, darkest hour I wouldn't be there to look after him, and neither would my wife - they would prevent us from entering the ward.

''That's such a cruel system I decided I to start looking at the proton beam myself.''

He added: ''We decided to try and sort it out ourselves but now we're refugees almost.

''We can't do anything. The police are after us. The things we want to do to raise the money to pay for the proton beam, they've prevented it now.

''So my son is being treated and he's doing fine. We're very happy with his progress. We're not neglecting him. He has everything he had in hospital.''

Mr King said Ashya was ''responding so much better'' than he did in hospital.

''We couldn't take it any more - not knowing and not being able to question anything in fear that they say, 'Sorry Mr and Mrs King, emergency protection order, you're no longer allowed in the ward','' he said.

''Under that stress, our son has grade four brain tumour, we couldn't discuss or question them at all in fear that our son would be in that ward all day long by himself without his parents being able to come in.

''We couldn't be under that system any more.

''I was going to get the money to pay for the proton beam therapy but they have prevented that now because the Spanish police are involved and I can't do want I wanted to do.''

Mr King urged police to call off ''this ridiculous chase''.

''We're not neglecting our son, he's in perfectly good health,'' he said.

''My son is smiling, he's happy, we're doing things as a family. We just want to be left in peace. He's very sick. I just want to get on with his treatment. I'm not coming back to England if I cannot give him the treatment I want, which is proper treatment.

''I just want positive results for my son.''