Judge raises concern about images of Alfie Evans being posted online
A High Court judge has raised concern about images of a 23-month-old boy who has been at the centre of a life-support treatment battle being posted on the internet.
Tom Evans and Kate James, who are in their 20s and from Liverpool, have lost fights over their son Alfie Evans in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.
In February, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool could stop treating Alfie against the wishes of his parents following hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool.
The judge was on Wednesday analysing a number of follow-up issues at a hearing in London.
He said the hearing was being held so that he could help Alfie's parents and doctors decide exactly when treatment should stop.
Mr Justice Hayden said it would not be possible for Alfie's parents to make "further applications".
He said he was concerned that images of the little boy were continuing to be posted online.
"It is impossible to escape images of Alfie on the internet," said the judge.
"He has no say on whether these photos are taken."
Mr Justice Hayden said he was concerned that the images were "intrusive" and suggested that in the "fullness of time" Alfie's family might regret their publication.
Alfie's parents were not at the hearing, which is continuing.
Last week bosses at Alder Hey said they had been unable to reach agreement with Alfie's parents about exactly when treatment should stop.
They said they would ask the judge for "guidance" .
Judges have heard that Alfie, who was born on May 9 2016, is in a "semi-vegetative state" and has a degenerative neurological condition doctors had not definitively diagnosed.
Specialists at Alder Hey said life-support treatment should stop and Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence which showed that further treatment was futile.
Court of Appeal judges upheld Mr Justice Hayden's ruling.
Supreme Court justices and European Court of Human Rights judges have refused to intervene.
The couple have complained that "the state" is wrongly interfering with their parental choice.
They want to move Alfie to a hospital in Rome or Germany.