A MP has urged the Government to step in as an ex-Newcastle United goalie's dad begs prison bosses not to let him die in jail.
Police said Daniel Staples, 30, faces no further action over allegations that saw him recalled to prison while battling a brain tumour in August.
Colin Staples said his son is at a "massive high risk" of catching Covid-19 at at HMP Northumberland after a recent outbreak there.
But the former footballer, who also played for Sunderland and Wrexham, is still waiting to be released to serve the rest of his five-year sentence for sextortion on parole.
He has undergone surgery and has 12 months of chemotherapy ahead of him, ChronicleLive reports.
Mary Glindon, Labour MP for North Tyneside, has now asked Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to intervene "as a matter of urgency" after the family asked for her help.
Staples was jailed to five years and four months in 2016 after admitting blackmail and witness intimidation at Durham Crown Court after he demanded cash in order not to publish naked photographs of a woman online.
He was released on licence in March 2019 but was recalled to jail after being arrested in June in Cumbria.
But by August the Crown Prosecution Service had told his solicitor that there would be no further action in his case.
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Staples, of Annitsford, north Tyneside, remains in prison and the Parole Board has yet to decide if he is suitable for release.
Colin Staples said: "We have no idea why he's still there, and neither does he. We are all struggling like hell because of this.
"He was arrested but the police said they would take no further action, so why would they keep someone in prison especially when they are so unwell?
"He is a massive high risk because of Covid but nobody is doing anything."
A Parole Board spokesperson said that having criminal proceedings withdrawn would not automatically stop a prisoner being recalled, and that the arrest was not the sole factor behind the decision to keep him in the Category C prison.
A statement said: “Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
"The panel will carefully examine a whole range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as understand the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.
“Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care.
"Protecting the public is our number one priority.”
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