It must be right that the police went looking for a young child when alerted by doctors that his life might be in danger. But when they found him, all thinking seems to have stopped.
It was clear from Hampshire Police’s press conference on Sunday morning that they were still focussed on how right it had been for them to initiate the search for five year-old Ashya King. No thought was going into what needed to happen now that the hunt was over.
Ashya was safe and, if not well, then well fed. That is important, because the imminent threat to his life had supposedly been that the battery in Ashya’s feeding pump was said to be running out. Once that aspect was taken out of the equation, it becomes far from clear that his parents were causing him any harm, wilfully, recklessly or even through ignorance of the consequences of their actions.
Faced with these findings, the obvious question presents itself: was there any basis on which to persevere with the arrest warrant? If that is too difficult to answer without taking some time, what about the question of bail? Why did the police oppose it, meaning that the parents were held on remand? With Ashya under police guard in a hospital, did the parents present any sort of flight risk? And then there is the rest of Ashya’s family: why were they denied access to Ashya from Saturday to Monday?
We are told this morning that the case has been put under “immediate review”. Why has it taken so long?