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Ashya King ‘May Be In Spain’ Say Police

August 30, 2014

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A five-year-old boy with a brain tumour, missing since being taken out of hospital by his parents against medical advice, may be in Spain.

Hampshire Police said Ashya King’s family have “strong links to the Marbella area” and believe they may be travelling there.

Ashya was last seen on a ferry to France after being taken from Southampton General Hospital.

Police described the need to find him as “desperate”.

Hampshire Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead urged people to remain vigilant

Hampshire Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said: “It is really important that we find him and ensure he receives medical attention at the earliest opportunity.”

He also cautioned it was possible the family could be somewhere other than Spain and asked people across the continent to remain vigilant.

Police fear the battery on the feeding system he uses has run out.

ACC Shead said it was unclear whether his parents had spare batteries, or knew how to recharge them.

“Without properly administered food Ashya’s situation is very serious,” he said.

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Becky Kelly, BBC News

According to Ian Pople, a consultant neurosurgeon, the battery in the feeding machine used by Ashya can’t be changed easily.

It is integrated within the machine, much like an iPhone, and it means the machine has to be taken apart to replace the battery.

It’s also not designed to be run on batteries for a long period and is usually plugged into mains.

In other words, it’s only battery-reliant for short periods, such as going to the toilet, or moving between wards.

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Ashya’s paternal grandmother, Patricia King, said the couple were “wonderful” and had been left beside themselves at their child’s illness.

Ms King, who lives in Southsea, described her son as “the most caring and wonderful father you could ever have.”

She also praised her daughter-in-law, saying she had kept a bedside vigil while Ashya was in hospital.

“We are a very close family,” she said.

Police in Marbella have been liaising with officers in Hampshire and will now go to a judge to request the search is spread across Spain.

ACC Shead said the latest information was “positive”, adding: “There have been widespread media alerts across Europe. We would now encourage anyone with links to Spain particularly, to also help us spread the appeal via social media.”

Interpol has issued a missing persons alert to all 190 of its member countries and said it was treating all information on the case as “high priority”.

Brett King, 51, and Naghemeh King, 45, removed Ashya from the ward on Thursday.

A spokesman for the hospital, which contacted police six hours after the family left, said on Friday: “Ashya was a long-term patient who was permitted to leave the ward under the supervision of his parents as part of his ongoing rehabilitation.

“When the length of time he had been absent became a cause of concern to staff yesterday afternoon they contacted police after a search of the site and attempts to contact the family were unsuccessful.”

ACC Shead said they were told by the hospital the child was missing at 20:35 BST on Thursday – more than six hours after he had been taken by his parents.

On why the hospital did not alert police sooner, he said: “That is something that we need to look at.”

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Clive Coleman, BBC legal correspondent

Parents have the right to remove their children from hospital unless they are prevented from doing so by a court order – it has not been confirmed whether Ashya was subject to an order.

If doctors are concerned that parents intend to remove a child, deny it the medical treatment it needs, and expose it to the risk of serious harm, they can seek a court order.

This will normally involve CAFCASS (the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service), the non-departmental public body which provides guardians to represent the best interests of children in family court proceedings.

Once an order is in place, any parent who removes their child in breach of the order is committing a contempt of court for which they could be imprisoned.

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Hampshire Police confirmed the family are Jehovah’s Witnesses, but there is no suggestion this is why he was taken.

Officers were keeping an “open mind” on the motives, ACC Shead said.

The Office of Public Information for Jehovah’s Witnesses said in a statement: “There is absolutely no indication, as far as we are aware, that their decision is in any way motivated by any religious convictions.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses say they refuse blood transfusions on the basis of Biblical teaching. Their website says the Old and New Testaments “clearly command us to abstain from blood”.

The family, from Southsea, Hampshire, were travelling in a grey coloured Hyundai I800 Style CRDI, registration KP60 HWK. Officers have asked for anyone who sees the vehicle to contact them.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. philipburdekin permalink
    August 30, 2014 1:03 pm

    I hope they find the little fella in tine to keep him alive.

  2. vivien wills permalink
    August 30, 2014 2:11 pm

    The hospital says they cannot save him and he only has weeks to live.I think let him have all that time with his family not just linger in hospital where they cannot do anything else for him apart from keeping him comfortable.they know he is going to pass away let them give him all the love and family time to the end of his very short life.

  3. The Infamous Culex permalink
    August 30, 2014 4:47 pm

    Has he been taken to meet Maddie McCann?

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