Norfolk

Ex-EastEnder Joseph Shade sentenced for sex offences

Joseph Shade Image copyright PA
Image caption Ex-EastEnders actor Joseph Shade admitted sex offences against three girls between 2012 and 2015

A former EastEnders actor has been given a suspended prison sentence for sex offences against teenage girls.

Joseph Shade, 24, from Sheringham in Norfolk, played Peter Beale as a child from 1998 until 2004.

The youth worker admitted causing or inciting a child under 18 to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust and sexual activity with a child.

Victims sitting in Norwich Crown Court shouted "where is the justice for us?" in response to his sentence.

Shade was given an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

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

Shade was working as a youth worker at Norfolk at the time.

Image caption Shade played the character Peter Beale (being carried, above) between 1998 and 2004

He sent text messages to girls asking them to have sex or send him pictures of their breasts, and on a single occasion he touched one girl on the bottom, the court heard.

Sentencing him, Judge Maureen Bacon QC said: "You sought to engage vulnerable teenage girls in sexual activity when you were in a position of trust."

During mitigation, it was heard he was a "young vulnerable individual" who had been helped by the youth project himself.

The "humiliation has been significant" for Shade, the court heard.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Joseph Shade had helped by the youth project himself, the court heard

Shade, of Cliff Road, Sheringham, admitted five counts of causing or inciting a child under 18 to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust.

He admitted one count of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.

Shade was given a five-year sexual harm prevention order, barring him from working with children and vulnerable adults, and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

He must also sign the sex offenders register and complete a 60-day offender programme.

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