The brother of five-year-old Ashya King, who was taken from Southampton General hospital against medical advice seven days after an operation to remove his brain tumour, has released a video to refute claims against his family of neglect.
Naveed King says that the video, published yesterday, ‘shows information that would help in court’.
In the video, Mr King claims that despite fears of neglect, Ashya was being provided with ‘the same food’ that he had received in hospital and that the family had bought it in the ‘box-load’ online. He also showed a power cord that the family used in their car to plug Ashya’s feeding line into to show that ‘he was not starving’ along the way.
Mr King held up a bag of syringes that the family had bought in ‘heaps’ online, whilst also describing a new wheelchair – not taken from the hospital – that the King’s had spent up to £1,600 on for their son.
In talking about his father, he said:
‘Whilst Ashya was in hospital for the first week, my father travelled in the morning, really early in the morning, came back late at night, sometimes reaching past midnight, and whilst he was home he did research upon hours, sometimes did not even sleep, he did constant research to find out information that could help Ashya.
‘The doctors did not want to hear anything about his research, as they did not believe any of the information that was being given to them, and that the internet could not be trusted, whilst the internet gave him information that the doctors would not give him.’
In a video published on Saturday, Ashya’s father, Brett King, said the family had travelled to Spain in order to sell property and raise the funds to pay for their son’s proton beam therapy in the Czech Republic, a form of treatment that they had ‘pleaded’ doctors to give them on the NHS that typically costs £100,000. Ashya’s father claims in the video that doctors looked him straight in the face and said that proton beam therapy would have ‘no benefit whatsoever’ on the five-year-old boy’s condition. It is believed that Mr King’s parents were arrested ‘minutes’ after he published the first video.
Naveed King claims that the family were spotted in their hotel room where Ashya was ‘happy, wasn’t in any danger and was not neglected at all’.
Ashya’s parents, Brett King, 51, and Naghemeh King, 45, were arrested in Malaga and questioned by police on Saturday and have arrived at Madrid’s High Court for the first stage of their extradition to the UK. Ashya was taken to a children’s hospital in the city, where he remains.
The hotel staff in Malaga, Spain, recognised Ashya and his family as a result of high levels of publicity in the media. Ashya’s father said he was ‘most disturbed’ to see pictures of his son all over the internet and newspapers as he and his wife were labeled as ‘kidnappers’.
In a press release yesterday, Assistant Chief Constable of Hampshire Police, Chris Shead refused to apologise for the way officers conducted their search for the family:
‘All of our efforts resulted from explicit medical advice that Ashya’s life was in danger. I am very aware that there are comments about the rights and wrongs of our approach but when we are told by experts that any child’s life is at risk we will make no apologies for being as proactive as possible.’
‘We now need to properly understand the parents’ motivation and engage with colleagues in the Crown Prosecution Service, who would lead on managing the extradition proceedings. It is only when we have done this that we will make a decision on what happens next.’
Bracken is police and crime reporter for Winchester News Online and student at the University of Winchester