A Celebrity Big Brother contestant who accused another of domestic violence has "set back immense work" done by charities, a former chief prosecutor has said.

Nazir Afzal, who campaigns on violence against women, tweeted that he could not let the incident on Thursday's episode pass without commenting on how the allegation damages real crimes against women.

He said ex-Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallett, 35, "clearly has issues and needs help" after she claimed former Coronation Street actor Ryan Thomas, 34, punched her during a play fight.

:: 'Human Ken Doll' Rodrigo Alves removed from CBB

I don't engage with #CBB but I can't let what just happened pass

What #Roxanne did in alleging domestic violence (which we saw for ourselves) & persuading producers to warn #Ryan set back immense work done by DV charities in raising awareness

She clearly has issues & needs help

— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) August 30, 2018

His criticism came as Ofcom revealed it received 11,215 complaints, thought to be about Pallett's reaction, and is deciding whether to investigate.

An Emmerdale actress and Thomas's brother were among scores of social media users to come to his defence.

Scott Thomas, a Love Island finalist, tweeted that Pallett was "trying to damage my brother's reputation over what was blatantly some harmless play fighting".

I have now seen it all ! Women like that are so dangerous! Trying to damage my brothers reputation over what was blatantly some harmless play fighting. Be a drama queen all you want but dont try and ruin someone in the process! Nasty that !

— Scott Thomas (@scottyspecial) August 30, 2018

Charley Webb, a current Emmerdale actress, tweeted that she watched the incident and "nothing happened".

She added that the fact all of Pallett's social media was deleted overnight "says a lot to me".

Domestic abuse victim and former Miss Great Britain, Danielle Lloyd, accused Pallett of "making a mockery of women who have actually been terrified in violent relationships".

So, all of Roxannes social media has been deleted. Says a lot to me. Ive woken up this morning even more furious for @ryanjamesthomas and all the women who actually do suffer from abuse. Its not normal behaviour and there needs to be consequences.

— Charley Webb (@MissCharleyWebb) August 31, 2018

Thomas was given a formal warning by Big Brother after Pallett told the Channel 5 programme she was upset by an altercation in which she claimed Thomas punched her "repeatedly, unprovoked".

She added, in tears: "He actually punched me like a boxer would punch a bag. And we weren't play fighting, there was no banter, it wasn't a joke."

The actress asked to sleep in a separate bedroom because she "didn't feel comfortable" sleeping in the same room.

Thomas was then called to the diary room and told that he had "broken" the "unacceptable behaviour" rule because while "almost play fighting you punched Roxanne in the ribs".

"This caused Roxanne to say 'Ow, that bloody hurt'. Whether you intended to hurt Roxanne or not is irrelevant," Big Brother said.

I dont believe in any man raising a hand to any women but I do believe what Roxanne is doing in big brother is making a mockery of women who have actually been terrified in violent relationships. Me being one! Am sorry but this isnt a game luv its a serious accusation

— Danielle Lloyd (@MissDLloyd) August 30, 2018

Thomas apologised and said: "I think we both know, and Roxanne, that there was no malice or anger in anything I did."

In a preview clip for Friday night's episode, Pallet says in the diary room that she slept separately last night "because I felt uncomfortable, because Ryan assaulted me".

"And he's still here and he smirked at me as I walked past," she said.

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She is also heard telling her co-stars that she was "in pain all night".

"It was intentional to hurt, he went for it, he did it with his fist, it was so sore, and so aggressive, and I walked off and I was in a blur of confusion," she said.

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