Joseph Shade, who played Peter Beale in EastEnders from 1998 to 2004, has admitted to five counts of causing or inciting a child under 18 to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust, and one count of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust. The 24-year-old was working as a youth worker at a project in Norfolk when he sent three teenage girls inappropriate messages and touched one inappropriately.
Joseph admitted to five counts of sex offences
Speaking about the case, prosecutor Chris Paxton told Norwich Crown Court: "He himself attended that youth project as a young person and got help from them. As he reached the age of 18 he became formally employed as a youth worker and in this capacity as a youth worker he then engaged with many young people who came from similar backgrounds and vulnerabilities as he had. During the course of his employment he accepts by his pleas that his relationships became too close to a number of attendees and he would engage with them by texting them messages asking them to have sex or to send sexual pictures of breasts and the like. On one occasion and only one occasion he touched one of them."
Joseph has no previous convictions, and it was said that he was "tearful and expressed a degree of remorse," when he was interviewed by police. The former child actor appeared in court while dressed in a blue shirt and suit trousers and only spoke to enter his pleas. Joseph is one of several actors to play Peter throughout the soap's history, and lives with his girlfriend in Sheringham, Norfolk.