THE sad saga of little Ashya King continues today and is in danger of becoming a media circus.

This is, perhaps, understandable and was predictable once Hampshire Police, following requests for assistance from Southampton General Hospital, turned the search for the sick five-year-old into a European-wide operation.

Questions over whether the authorities have been heavy handed over this issue and if judicial steps to detain Ashya’s parents and return the family to the UK have risen to the fore.

This newspaper recognises the need for those in authority to take steps to ensure Ashya was indeed safe. But we cannot help but be concerned at this stage over the present situation the little boy, his brothers and sisters and his parents now find themselves in.

No one doubts this is a much-loved child, but now he is left without any contact with his family members in a foreign hospital. How can this be considered best for any child let alone one in such a vulnerable state?

Keeping Ashya’s family away from his bedside would appear a formality too far, the actions of a system that seems incapable of stepping back and seeing these events with compassionate eyes.

It is hard not to support the thousands who have signed a petition to let Mr and Mrs King be at the bedside of their son while these matters are dealt with.