ITV has faced a barrage of complaints from viewers following Gennie Sharma’s dramatic murder in Emmerdale on Thursday night.

According to reports the network has so far received 50 complaints about the episode in which the character, played by Sian Reese-Williams, was run off the road by serial killer Cameron Murray and then suffocated.

A further 100 have taken their concerns to the media watchdog Ofcom, which is deciding whether or not to investigate.

Thursday’s double bill of episodes saw Gennie meet her grisly fate after overhearing Cameron – played by Dominic Power – confess the murders of Carl King and Alex Moss to his girlfriend debbie Dingle.

But while many viewers were left riveted by the storyline, others maintained the scenes, shown in the second episode of the night at 8pm, were too strong for a pre-watershed audience.

“Bit much pre-watershed…Think of kids that may be awake still!” said one viewer on Twitter, while another added: “Think @emmerdale went too far tonight. Feel physically sick.”

ITV has defended its decision to air the scenes, with a spokesman saying: “This episode was the culmination of a very dramatic storyline which has been running for over a year. We made sure appropriate warnings were broadcast before the episode aired.”

The outcry didn’t stop the show from pulling in the viewers, however, with a peak audience of over seven million tuning in.