NEON Roberts – the seven-year-old boy at the centre of his parents’ legal battle over life-saving cancer treatment - can be given radiotherapy treatment against his mother's wishes, a judge has ruled.

Neon, who was last seen in Tiverton with his mum Sally before the pair disappeared – prompting a nationwide search – had surgery on Wednesday to remove the remains of a brain tumour following an initial ruling at the Family Division of the High Court on Tuesday.

New Zealand-born Mrs Roberts had asked the court for more time to explore alternative treatments, fearing that radiotherapy would reduce Neon's IQ, shorten his life, put him at risk of having strokes and make him infertile.

But Mr Justice Bodey agreed with the counsel appointed for Neon, who argued that radiotherapy was the only option that could save his life.