A High Court judge has been told that a seven-year-old boy at the centre of a legal dispute over cancer treatment may have to undergo more surgery.

Mr Justice Bodey had been expected to make a ruling on whether Neon Roberts should undergo radiotherapy treatment against the wishes of his mother, Sally, 10 days ago. But - at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on December 8 - the judge announced an adjournment because of developments in the case.

And lawyers have now told the court that Neon might need another operation.

The judge had heard argument about whether Neon, who has had surgery on a brain tumour, should undergo radiotherapy treatment.

Ms Roberts, 37, a New Zealander who lives in Brighton, East Sussex, said she feared radiotherapy would cause Neon long-term harm.

Neon's father Ben, who lives in London and is separated from Ms Roberts, had agreed to radiotherapy but was "apprehensive", the court heard.

Doctors said Neon might die within months without radiotherapy treatment.

The case hit the headlines in early December when Ms Roberts, who was then living in Tiverton, Devon, disappeared with Neon.

The judge was told by lawyers that Ms Roberts has not consented to Neon undergoing another operation.

They said the judge might have to decide whether further surgery could take place.