A FORMER Greenwich Council social worker who sexually abused a 13-year-old boy was jailed at the Old Bailey, last Friday.

Anthony Meredith, 54, of Dixton Road, Monmouth, south Wales, molested the teenager while working for the council between 1976 and 1980, the court heard.

Prosecuting Stewart Hamblin said the abuse began after Meredith befriended the youngster at Stonefields Assessment Centre in Sidcup.

The boy had been sent there in 1976 after his parents split-up and he began committing crime.

Mr Hamblin said: “The defendant suggested to the boy the next time he ran away from the centre he might like to bump into him at the cinema in Lewisham.”

Meredith used to take him to his Forest Hill flat and lavish him with affection, which turned in to sexual abuse but as the boy got older Meredith lost interest.

He fled to Malta in the mid 90s and set up the island's first child protection unit after the victim reported him to the police.

Police finally caught up with Meredith in October, this year, after a tip-off from British Embassy staff.

Meredith who admitted three counts of indecent assault was sentenced to 12 months concurrent on each charge and was disqualified from having anything to do with working with children.