Cancer boy's mother is more cruel than caring



23:59 GMT, 21 December 2012

No one should doubt the sincerity of Sally Roberts in seeking alternative treatment for her gravely ill son, Neon, as he battles brain cancer. However misguidedly, she believes she has her boy’s best interests at heart.

To that end, she went on the run with the seven-year-old, refusing to allow him the treatment that experts said would help save his life.

Then came a legal tussle over an emergency operation to remove the tumour, which ended with a High Court judge ruling that the procedure should go ahead, against his mother’s wishes.

Sally Roberts has lost her legal battle to delay her seven-year-old son Neon receiving radiotherapy treatment for cancer until more doctors had been consulted

Sally Roberts lost her legal battle to delay her seven-year-old son Neon receiving radiotherapy treatment for cancer until more doctors had been consulted

Yesterday, Mrs Roberts was back in court once again, trying to stop the radiotherapy doctors say her son desperately needs.

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Again, the judge over-ruled her — a decision she says she plans to challenge at appeal.


Enough distress and anguish for the poor boy’s father, who supports the doctors’ advice. Enough confusion for a poor little lad caught in the middle of his warring parents.

Enough expense, as the legal bills mount — funded by the taxpayer.

Enough time wasted by doctors giving evidence instead of saving lives.

And enough of a mother raging in the limelight, instead of spending time with her sick child.

Mrs Roberts claims she wants to find a more holistic treatment for her boy — one that is pain-free and with fewer potential side-effects. ‘I believe we could have waited a week for me to get further opinions from abroad,’ she insisted yesterday. Yet all the remedies she has suggested were dismissed as unproven and experimental by cancer experts.

What mother experiments with their child’s life Especially when, sadly, time is not on Neon’s side.

Mrs Roberts still insists that it is her human right as a mother to determine the fate of her child. But what about a father’s rights — or those of a child to have the best chance of survival

The reality is that when a parent’s decisions jeopardise their child’s life, it is not only right but essential that the state steps in.

Now Mrs Roberts says she will sue the judge, her former husband and the doctors if the radiotherapy damages Neon’s brain — or, in her terrible words, ‘cabbages him’.

I wonder who she would have held accountable if her son had died or been brain-damaged because of her intransigence As this ghastly story has revealed, sometimes a mother just doesn’t know best.

Enjoying himself: Mark Thatcher in Barbados

Enjoying himself: Mark Thatcher in Barbados

When asked how she would have spent her last day on Earth (now delayed, after the Mayan apocalypse failed to materialise), Ulrika Jonsson says she’d take her four children back to her native Sweden for a bit of skinny-dipping. Knowing the canny Ulrika, even if the end of the world was nigh, she’d still persuade a Hello! crew to accompany her and to pay for the lot.

Such a selfish son

While most of us would give anything to spend time with our elderly parents at Christmas, Mark Thatcher has once again chosen to spend the past few days sunning himself in Barbados, even though we now learn his mother has sadly been ailing.

Has it ever crossed this ungrateful son’s mind that without Margaret’s achievements and fortune, he wouldn’t even be able to afford the first-class airfare there

RSPCA’s hunting the wrong quarry

Many RSPCA supporters, myself included, were shocked to learn it had spent 330,000 in a politically motivated prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt. Even the judge questioned whether the ‘staggering’ amount was money well spent.

It wasn’t — and the charity’s actions make a mockery of its campaign to persuade the public to give 3 to save an animal when, by its own calculations, it could have saved more than 100,000 helpless creatures with what it spent on this absurd court case.

I suspect it will cost the RSPCA a great deal more in lost donations from people who had thought their money might be used to help protect cats and dogs.

Unforgettable: Strictly Come Dancing's Robin Windsor partnering Lisa Riley

Unforgettable: Strictly Come Dancing's Robin Windsor partnering Lisa Riley

I will be holding my usual Strictly Come Dancing finals party tonight, but I am distraught that the nation’s favourite chubster will not be competing. Where will the show be without Lisa Riley’s laughter, wildly fringed frocks and unforgettable impersonation of a one-woman car wash

How curious that the Government has been able to seize 217,000 from Abu Hamza’s bank accounts and assets after he moved into his new four-bedroom council house, funded by the taxpayer.
Most people with assets like that wouldn’t even get on the housing waiting list.

Princess Eugenie of York visited the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital children's ward today and handed out gifts to the patients

Princess Eugenie visited the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital children's ward and handed out gifts to the patients

Royal round-up

Palace sources ludicrously claim the Queen is ‘excited’ that her Christmas Day broadcast will be shown in 3D for the first time. Really Like most grandmothers, she probably hasn’t a clue what 3D TV is, still less be excited by it. I suppose next year we can look forward to her seasonal greeting on Twitter: ‘Happy xmas 1 & all, luv her maj xx.’

Meanwhile, Prince Philip took a biography of Attila the Hun on his journey to his traditional family Christmas at Sandringham. If I was Prince Charles, I’d be very afraid.

While Fergie and her daughter Beatrice would turn up for the opening of a baked beans can, Eugenie this week visited the hospital where she had surgery to treat curvature of the spine. She wore a dress with a hole in the back to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, to show young patients her scars and give them hope of recovery. Perhaps there’s also hope for Fergie’s family yet.

So much for the goodwill season

The person who stole the children’s gifts at Great Ormond Street hospital has been dubbed the cruelest thief this Christmas. Now there’s a rival for that title.

BBC business editor Robert Peston lost his wife Sian to cancer in September. Burglars this week broke into his home and stole her engagement and wedding rings, one inscribed with the single word ‘darling’.

Robert Peston, business editor of the BBC, lost his beloved wife Sian to cancer in September

Robert Peston, business editor of the BBC, lost his beloved wife Sian to cancer in September

They are irreplaceable — as was the gold chain given to mother-of-two Sian by her son with the word ‘mum’ on it.

When the thief awakes no doubt from his drug-induced stupor, perhaps he could find a shred of human decency and quietly return these treasures to where they belong.

The EU demands that all cigarette packets carry the kind of gruesome pictures Australia’s government insists upon, showing diseased lungs, cancerous throats and rotting teeth. What next Burgers with pictures of John Prescott on and wine bottles adorned with Paula Hamilton

President Obama poses in mock shock as a young boy dressed as Spiderman 'shoots' him with his web

President Obama poses in mock shock as a young boy dressed as Spiderman 'shoots' him with his web

An insensitive shot

President Obama was named Time magazine’s Person Of The Year for 2012 and, to mark the occasion, released a picture of himself in mock horror with his arms held high as a boy dressed as Spiderman pretends to fire a shot of web at him. Was that wise

After the Sandy Hook shootings, former Coronation Street actress Helen Flanagan was vilified for posting a picture on Twitter holding a gun to her head. But she’s a brainless soap star. Surely we could have expected more sensitivity from the most PR-savvy President in American history.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair insists he pays all his taxes

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair insists he pays all his taxes

Westminster Noticeboard

* Sally Bercow offered herself as a prize at her kid’s school Christmas auction. She was finally bought for 600 to be a babysitter for a night — no doubt by her husband, hoping to pop out for a few hours’ peace. Just remember to lock the drinks cabinet, John.

* Questioned about his financial affairs (which suggest he channels millions of pounds through a complex network of companies), Tony Blair insisted: ‘I pay my full taxes in this country.’ This, from the man who told us Saddam Hussein really did have weapons of mass destruction.

* If the police inquiry launched this week reveals that former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell did not call the police ‘plebs’, I unconditionally apologise for the piece I wrote criticising him at the height of the storm. Perhaps I was naive to believe the word of a policeman over a ruthless MP.

But how damaging to our trust in the police that, once again, an officer has been accused of fabricating evidence for politically motivated reasons.At least we are promised a quick resolution on Plebgate. The families of the victims of Hillsborough waited 23 years before the police were proven to have acted mendaciously.

A survey shows that most people no longer
know the words to our most loved Christmas carols. How sad. There are
few greater joys in life than being able to belt out O Come, All Ye
Faithful at the end of a church service, with our families around us — a
pleasure I will sadly miss this year due to my recent eye operation
preventing me from travelling.

So to all of you, whether you are with your families or not, I wish you a joyful Christmas.