ALFIE Evans' dad claimed cops threatened to arrest him for assault as he attempted to leave hospital with his son amid passionate protests.
The terminally-ill tot is being treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, in Liverpool, but a High Court judge ruled his life support will be switched off in the coming days.
Speaking to hundreds of supporters outside the hospital last night, dad Tom Evans said the family had a jet ready to fly them to Italy when they decided to go.
He insisted there was no legal challenge to taking their 23-month-old son to get treatment abroad during the tense stand-off.
The tot's parents have been fighting a fierce battle with the courts to keep him alive, arguing their son could receive life-saving treatment in Rome for his rare degenerative brain condition.
Tom said: “Legally we can go. The doctors are doing their best now to stop us from doing that. There’s no order that says Alfie can’t leave.
“In reality I could walk upstairs, pick Alfie up right now and take him out the hospital.
“But as you know there’s hundreds of police cars around. They’re saying that if you do we’re going to try and stop you.
“I was told by a police officer if I take Alfie I was going to get arrested for assault.
“If I pick Alfie up, with legal responsibilities and parental responsibilities, I’m getting told that I’m going to get done for assaulting my son. Where’s that real?”
In a later broadcast from his son's bedside, Tom yesterday: “Alfie won’t be going anywhere tonight unfortunately but there’s tomorrow.
“There’s about six police officers outside his bedroom. I Have asked them to reduce it to two and respect our privacy.
“They said until they get told they can stand down they can’t. I’ve told them don’t go in the room, respect my decisions and that’s what they’ve done.”
Bosses at Alder Hey went to the High Court for permission to switch off his life support - which was granted on Wednesday by the Court of Appeal.
In a highly charged protest on Thursday night around 500 people held banners outside the hospital, chanting they were part of "Alfie’s army" and demanding his release.
Speaking on two occasions outside the hospital, Tom claimed that he and mum Kate James and taken full responsibility for his care from the hospital.
Before making his way back into the hospital, Tom urged the crowds to continue to protest peacefully.
Police said the "peaceful" protest "did cause significant traffic disruption and inconvenience for other people trying to access the hospital".
Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, of Merseyside Police, confirmed that police had been present at the hospital last night, saying: "Although peaceful, the large protest that took place tonight did cause significant traffic disruption and inconvenience for other people trying to access the hospital.
"I want to remind people to please consider other hospital users, as these delays could have caused serious problems for staff and patients alike.
"We fully understand what a sensitive and emotional time this is for everyone involved and I would also therefore like to pass on our appreciation for the way in which Alfie’s family were later able to speak to the crowd and offer assurance and calm."
A police spokesperson added that the claim that Tom had been threatened with arrest was not substantiated.
Alfie's parents said their solicitor is speaking with the hospital to allow Alfie to be moved to a hospital abroad.
“There’s no court order to say Alfie has to stay in this hospital.
“The truth is of the matter is me and Kate hold full responsibility and we can take him to our transportation van with full equipment, with doctors who have got full duty of care, and they’re not allowing it.
“We’re hoping now that my solicitor is going to get us out.
“We might not leave tonight because apparently the floor’s on lockdown.
Shortly after 11pm, an hour after his first speech, Tom came out of the hospital once again to thank his supporters.
He told the remaining supporters: “I’m absolutely amazed by all the support. I can’t believe we are stood here six hours later.
“This is Alfie’s army. This is the truth, Alfie’s not dying. Release Alfie Evans, release our son respectfully.
“Alder Hey are still scratching their heads six hours still no evidence. The solicitor has been here for over an hour. They’re struggling to find evidence.”
“We love every single one of you. My legs are shaking. I can’t thank you enough.
“They can’t stop me physically taking Alfie."
Earlier one of the protesters, mum-of-two Tasha Clarke from Merseyside explained why she had come with her children.
Tasha said: “We’re here because we’re parents. He should have a chance, God forbid if it was one of our own, we would expect the same to happen (the support).
"Alfie’s army want to do this peacefully we just want to show they have the support, they’re not on their own.”
The protest was initially sparked by Tom Evans, who posted a video to Facebook at around 6.30pm showing documents which he claimed prove he has legal right to take his son from the hospital.
In a statement yesterday, Alder Hey Children's NHS Trust said: "Today the High Court has set a date and time for when life support for Alfie Evans should be withdrawn.
"We understand this is a difficult time for Alfie’s family and we would ask that their privacy is respected.
"The Trust will not be issuing any further comment at this point."
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