A former EastEnders actor turned youth worker has been sentenced after he pleaded guilty to a string of child sex offences. Joseph Shade, 24, who played the part of Peter Beale as a child between 1998 and 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 while appearing at Norwich Crown Court in August.
Appearing at the same court, he has now handed an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years. His victims who were at the court, cried "where is the justice for us?" after hearing his sentence, reported the BBC.
The offences involve three girls aged between 14 and 17 who Shade approached while working as part of a youth project in Norfolk between 2012 and 2015.
Shade was found to have abused his position of power after sending sexually explicit text messages to the girls as well as touching one on the backside.
The court previously heard how Shade had been helped by the youth project, but was taken on as an employee when he turned 18.
While he was found to have helped many young people who "came from similar backgrounds and vulnerabilities as he had", Shade admitted he became too close to a number of attendees, resulting in him asking for sexually explicit pictures from his young victims.
As well as the suspended sentence, Shade was handed a five-year sexual harm prevention order which forbids 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. Shade is one of a number of actors to have played the part of Ian and Cindy Beale's son in the popular BBC soap since he was first introduced in 1993.