August 2017

Former EastEnders actor admits sex offences

Former EastEnders actor Joseph Shade has admitted sexual offences against three teenage girls.

The youth worker, from Sheringham in Norfolk, played Peter Beale as a child from 1998 until 2004.

Shade, 24, admitted 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.

He was released on bail and will be sentenced at a later date.

The offences were committed against three girls aged between 14 and 17, and happened between 2012 and 2015, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Shade was a youth worker at a project in Norfolk at the time when he sent sexual text messages to girls and touched one on the bottom, prosecutor Chris Paxton said.

The former soap actor had been helped by the youth project himself, but “as he reached the age of 18 he became formally employed as a youth worker… and engaged with many young people who came from similar backgrounds and vulnerabilities as he had”, Mr Paxton said.

Joseph Shade, 24 of Cliff Road, Sheringham, was charged in October 2016 by officers from Norfolk Constabulary’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) with eight counts of ‘abuse of position of trust/inciting sexual activity with a girl’ and one count of ‘sexual activity with a girl’.

The charges relate to offences involving a number of victims, whilst he worked as a youth worker, in North Norfolk between December 2012 and March 2015.

At a Norwich Crown Court appearance today, Shade pleaded guilty to six counts in total – five counts of position of trust/inciting sexual activity with a girl’ and one count of ‘sexual activity with a girl’.

Shade will be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court in due course.