Southsea boy Ashya King's Parents Afraid to Return To UK

24 October 2014, 15:21 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

The parents of brain cancer patient Ashya King have said they do not feel "safe'' enough to return to the UK.

Brett and Naghmeh King from Southsea are planning to travel to Spain after the five-year-old's proton therapy in the Czech Republic comes to an end.

Earlier, it was revealed that Ashya is set to undergo his last dose of the specialist treatment in Prague today.

Speaking while holding his son, Mr King told Sky News: ``After some time we decided that perhaps it was best to return to Spain.

``We have a property there so life can be established quite easily for us.

``At the moment we don't feel 100% safe, I suppose you would call it, contemplating being in England until perhaps they do this investigation into how everything was conducted for us.

``Once that has been established then we can think about going back to England. But for the time being we have been in contact with a doctor in Spain so we are continuing with (Ashya's) treatment in Spain instead of England.''

Asked why they were reluctant to return to Britain, Mr King said: ``Because there is so much still at stake.

``We wouldn't want to lose Ashya. It would probably never happen but just having that small risk that you don't have to do anything wrong to have your children taken away and (be) thrown in prison...''

The Kings sparked an international manhunt when they removed Ashya from Southampton General Hospital on August 28 against medical advice.

They faced a protracted legal battle to get him to the Proton Therapy Centre (PTC)  in Prague, with a High Court judge only approving the move after they had been released from police custody in Spain.

Iva Tatounova, director of the PTC, said earlier: ``He has been very well and we are expecting him today for his last day of proton therapy.

``I don't know if you remember the pictures when he was transported here - just lying on his bed in the ambulance.

``Now he can sit on his own, he can play with the toys and his motorics improved dramatically. He can also react to his surroundings.''

This week the family released a video showing them taking Ashya outside and to a children's park.

On completing treatment he will have had 30 irradiation sessions to fight his rare brain tumour.

The PTC has said proton therapy is more effective than radiotherapy as it limits the collateral damage of radiation to other vital organs, such as the heart and liver in Ashya's case. This would lead to less severe long-term side-effects including heart and breathing problems.

The therapy is not available for him on the NHS, although the health service has since agreed to fund Ashya's treatment.