09:39 28 May 2012
EastEnders bosses have confirmed that Ben Mitchell is to be written out of the soap later this year.
The teenager, played by Joshua Pascoe, will leave Walford at the end of his current story, which saw him kill Heather Trott and try and cover up his guilt.
An EastEnders spokesperson told the Daily Star of the storyline:
"It will come as no surprise to the viewers of EastEnders that the character of Ben will be departing Walford when the truth finally emerges."
A show source told the newspaper:
"Joshua was always going to leave at the end of his current contract due to his storyline. There was no way Ben could stay on the Square long-term after killing Heather. But how it all comes out is a closely guarded secret."
Pascoe, who began playing the character in 2010, was questioned by police over an alleged sexual assault on 24 May 2012, before being released on bail.
The actor will film his final scenes during the summer, but the decision for him to leave is not thought to be connected with the news of his arrest.
An insider reportedly told The Sun:
"His mum is distraught. He's only 16, so his arrest is very upsetting for the whole family."
Scotland Yard said:
"A 16-year-old boy was arrested on May 24 in connection with an allegation of sexual assault. He has been bailed to return to a North London police station on July 31."
A BBC spokesman confirmed that the corporation is aware of the allegations.
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