EastEnders‘ teenage killer Ben Mitchell, played by actor Joshua Pascoe, is to leave the soap later this year according to the papers.

The Daily Star Sunday reports that the 16-year-old will film his final scenes this summer after his contract expires, with an exit storyline linked to his recent killing of Heather Trott.

“It comes as no surprise to the viewers of EastEnders that the character of Ben will be departing Walford when the truth finally emerges,” an EastEnders spokeswoman told the paper.

“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.”

However a source added that the nature of his departure was a “closely guarded secret”.

Joshua Pascoe is the fourth actor to play Ben, joining the show in 2010 after the character was released from a young offender’s institute.

His departure is said not to be linked to reports that he was arrested last week in connection with an alleged sexual assault.

The teenager was reportedly question by police before being released on bail to return to a North London police station in July.