Former EastEnders actor admits to sex offences against three teenage girls
A former EastEnders actor turned youth worker has admitted sexual offences against three teenage girls while in a position of trust.
Joseph Shade, (24), who played Peter Beale in the soap from 1998 to 2004, 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 by a person in a position of trust.
Prosecutor Chris Paxton told Norwich Crown Court that Shade was a youth worker at a project in Norfolk when he sent sexual text messages to girls and touched one on the bottom.
The offences were against three girls aged between 14 and 17, and happened between 2012 and 2015.
"He himself attended that youth project as a young person and got help from them," said Mr Paxton. "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."
Mr Paxton said Shade had no previous convictions and was "tearful and expressed a degree of remorse" when he was interviewed by police.
Shade, of Cliff Road, Sheringham, Norfolk, appeared unshaven in a blue shirt, dark blue tie and suit trousers and spoke only to enter his pleas.
The trial had been due to start on Monday and Shade denied 11 sexual offences against four girls, but on the fourth day of trial he admitted six sexual offences against three girls and the prosecution ordered that the remaining five counts lie on file.
Judge Maureen Bacon, bailing Shade until a sentencing date to be fixed, warned him that he could be sent to prison.