A FORMER teacher from Leigh appeared in EastEnders months after he was convicted of sexual activity with a schoolgirl, it has been revealed.

Rob Turner, 39, was axed from the soap after former pupils saw him on screen and complained to BBC bosses.

Mr Turner was given a suspended jail sentence at Basildon Crown Court and was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register after admitting sexual activity with a schoolgirl.

Despite the conviction, he got work as an extra on Albert Square.

Mr Turner was not at his home in Mansell Close, Leigh yesterday.

Neighbours said he moved out a month ago.

He said: "I'm still on the Sex Offenders Register. I'm seen once a year to make sure I'm OK. I believe EastEnders had a complaint. They hit the panic button.

"Whether they know what else was going on and had itchy fingers, I don't know. I worked on the show over a six-month period."

Mr Turner was fired as a music teacher when a girl complained of his inappropriate behaviour in 2009.

He was given a 12-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court.

An EastEnders spokeswoman said: "EastEnders books supporting artists through agencies that have undergone an approval process with the BBC.

"We were not notified prior to Mr Turner's appearance of his conviction. Had we known we would not have employed him."

Separately, police are looking into allegations paedophiles working on EastEnders in the Eighties and Nineties preyed on young fans.

No one working on the show is under suspicion.