A FORMER ambulance service chief will stand trial accused of the sexual grooming of a 15- year-old boy.

Dr Anton Van Dellen, 41, is alleged to have contacted a teenager from Essex via Facebook to arrange a meeting.

It is alleged that his intention was for this to lead to a sexual assault.

Van Dellen was interim chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service until his resignation in July 2006.

He had only been in the job for two months, and during his time there had warned that cuts in staff there could put the public at risk.

But the reason he gave for leaving was that he was unable to commit longterm to the post.

He then returned to a role with 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.

Yesterday Van Dellen, of Stamford Brook Avenue, Chiswick, west London, appeared before Southend Magistrates Court smartly dressed in a black pinstriped suit, with white shirt and dark tie.

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 where he lives.

He is due to appear before Basildon Crown Court on May 25.