The trial of a former EastEnders actor accused of sexual offences against four teenage girls is set to begin tomorrow. Joseph Shade, 24, who played Peter Beale in the soap from 1998 to 2004, denies 11 counts of sexual abuse.

Shade is accused of sexual offences against four girls aged between 13 and 17, with the alleged offending taking place between 2012 and 2015. The defendant, who is on bail, denies six counts of causing or inciting a child under 18 to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust, four counts of causing or inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, and one count of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.

Shade was charged with the offences in October following an investigation by Norfolk Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit. The trial of Shade, who lives with his girlfriend in Sheringham, Norfolk, is due to last five to six days. Shade starred as Ian Beale’s son Peter between 1998 and 2004, but became a youth worker after his stint on the popular soap.