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Man facing trial on sex grooming charge
A FORMER ambulance service chief will stand trial accused of sexually grooming a 15-year-old boy from Benfleet.
Dr Anton Van Dellen, 41, is alleged to have contacted the teenager on Facebook to arrange a meeting.
It is alleged that his intention was for this to lead to a sexual assault.
Van Dellen, who was interim chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service until his resignation in July 2006, appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
He was smartly dressed in a black pin-striped suit, white shirt and dark tie and spoke only to confirm his details.
He had already denied the charge against him at a previous hearing, which relates to a period between May 30 and June 13, 2011.
He was bailed on condition he does not contact the alleged victim or go to the road in Benfleet where he lives.
Asked if he understood the bail conditions, he replied: “Yes, of course.”
Van Dellen, of Stamford Brook Avenue, Chiswick, west London, was only in his position with the Welsh Ambulance Service for two months, but in that time he warned cuts in staff there could put the public at risk.
He left the job saying he was unable to commit long-term to the post.
He then returned to a role with the Staffordshire Ambulance Service, where he had previously been a deputy chief executive.
Van Dellen is qualified as a doctor of medicine, but removed himself from the register in May 2010.
He is also a qualified barrister, but is not currently registered to practice.
He is due to appear before Basildon Crown Court on May 25.
A spokesman for the West Midlands Ambulance Service, which has now replaced the Staffordshire Ambulance Service, said: “We can confirm Dr Van Dellen left the former Staffordshire Ambulance Service on March 31, 2007.
“His last position was that of deputy chief executive and, prior to that, he was an adviser to Staffordshire Ambulance Service.
“Since he left on March 31, 2007, neither the former Staffordshire Ambulance Service nor the regional West Midlands Ambulance Service have had any dealings with him .”