Britney Spears has been banned from seeing her two children by a court in Los Angeles.

The judge's decision comes after a high-profile incident yesterday when the singer refused to allow former husband Kevin Federline to take her sons as planned.

Reporters and photographers were on hand to see the 26-year-old former pop princess taken to hospital in an ambulance, seemingly in a hysterical state.

And following that incident and a string other apparent displays of instability, the judge ordered that the pop star's former spouse should have "sole legal and physical custody" of the couple's two sons.

The ruling means the Toxic singer will not have access to two-year-old Sean Preston or one-year-old Jayden James until the court meets again.

Photos published yesterday showed the singer being wheeled out of her house on a stretcher after emergency services rushed to the Los Angeles gated community when the star had delayed handing over custody of her children to her ex-husband.

It is believed she has been taken to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre after police found her under the influence of an unknown substance.

Before today's ruling, Spears was allowed two visits a week with her two sons while her former spouse had primary custody of the children.

The police were called in after the Baby One More Time star did not hand over her children on time which is against the terms of a court order.

According to Us magazine, Spears stayed with her children for 90 minutes longer than her scheduled time in spite of being asked to hand over her children by Federline's bodyguard.

The singer and her former spouse are involved in legal proceedings to determine the time each one of them spends with their two children.

Previously in the case, a court in Los Angeles ended Spears' joint custody arrangement after she missed a drugs test and media reports raised questions about her lifestyle.

05/01/2008 09:58:17