A HAMPSHIRE lawyer who specialises in family law believes the courts could take firm action against Ashya King’s parents.

Simon Burge, partner at Blake Morgan in Southampton, below, believes the courts will have to tread very carefully to not set a precedent that will leave other parents thinking they can do something similar and get away with it.

Mr Burge, who has nearly 30 years of experience in family law, told the Daily Echo: “The parents breached a High Court Order and this is where a criminal offence has been committed.

“The courts will take this very seriously and they will have to because they don’t want to set a bad example, or set a precedent, to other parents facing similar situations.”

He added that social services would also become involved, with foster care being a possibility for Ashya and his siblings in the short-term.

“Ashya’s parents did not break any law taking their child out of the hospital and taking him to France”, he said. “They were anticipating what was about to happen and until doctors obtained the High Court Order, they had not done anything illegal.

“But once that order was in place, refusing to do what the doctors say and refusing to bring him back, is breaching the order.

“The doctors would have tried very hard to involve the parents, explain to the parents and find a way to work with them and the decision to go to the High Court would have been an absolute last ditch decision.”

Obtaining one of these orders would mean a lot of people would have to drop everything and act incredibly quickly.

Once Ashya was gone, doctors would have to weigh up whether the parents were likely to return and if it was a life or death situation.

Daily Echo:

Ashya King with mum Naghmeh

They would then inform the hospital lawyers, who would instruct barristers in London to seek a High Court Order, which would place Ashya under the ward of the court.

Yesterday Portsmouth City Council confirmed that doctors at Southampton General Hospital had gone to its officers to ask them to apply to make Ashya a ward of the court.

A senior judge would have then heard the evidence and decide what side he would take. This order would then lead to police applying for the European Arrest Warrant that eventually saw Ashya’s parents arrested.