A devastated family was subjected to a torrent of abuse after their 13-year-old daughter reported that she had been raped by a known sexual predator.

The girl, from Clitheroe, Lancashire, was found naked from the waist down in an alleyway. She said she had been raped by a 15-year-old boy who was on bail for assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

Her parents had been looking for her when the assault happened. They called her on her mobile phone and when she answered they could hear her scream "Stop it", along with voices saying: "Pick up the knickers."

After an allegation of rape was made to police, a Facebook page was set up by friends of the suspect proclaiming his innocence. It was followed by months of abuse and threats against the family and claims that the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had lied.

The judge at the trial of the 15-year-old defendant heard that her parents were told that their house would be burned down unless she withdrew her claim.

Stones and eggs were thrown at the windows of their home and members of the family were threatened with physical violence.

Former friends of the girl accused her of being a "lying little skank" and she had to be escorted by her mother whenever she left the house.

The rapist was jailed for 31 months at Preston crown court, where the girl's parents revealed the extent their ordeal.

Her mother, a lecturer said: "Shame on them for doing this to such a young girl and to our family.

"We hadn't done anything wrong, yet there was this Facebook group and our home was being attacked with missiles. Our daughter even started to believe that some of the abuse about her was true.

"It has been an incredibly distressing experience, particularly because these people lived in our very close-knit community."

The father, a mechanic, added: "She stopped going out and she is still terrified to leave the house. Even when my wife was walking the dogs she was getting pestered and it was not just by youngsters, it was adults too."

Judge Norman Wright told the court that the abuse represented "a snapshot of how a part of society could behave".

Passing sentence, the judge told the defendant, who cannot be named because of his age: "Others jumped on the bandwagon and treated her in a way that no victim of rape should be treated."

A 13-year-old girl apologised to the family for abusing the girl's mother in the street and a 15-year-old boy who had threatened to burn the house down also said he was sorry.