The man acquitted by a jury of sexually abusing a young girl has told how the false allegations cost him two jobs during a year of torment.

A Bradford Crown Court jury found Barry Rowen not guilty of two charges of rape, two of indecent assault, two of sexual assault and two alternative charges of attempted rape.

Mr Rowen, 39, who had categorically denied the offences, said he was extremely relieved that the jury believed his evidence during the trial.

He said: "My solicitor told me that if I'd been found guilty I was looking at eight years in prison minimum. I'm absolutely over the moon to have been cleared."

Mr Rowen, who lives with his wife, two children and one step-daughter in Keighley, said his family and friends had stuck by him during the ordeal.

However, he said he struggled to live a normal life in the build-up to the trial as the accusations made by the girl, whose identity is protected by law, meant he was unable to work.

"I had a job working for a playground company. The boss was very fair but because of the allegations I lost the job," he said.

"I then tried to work for a building company, but when I told them about the case I got made redundant. You only have to put two and two together to work out why. For a whole year I was not able to plan anything."

Mr Rowen said he was stunned when police officers first knocked on his door in February last year.

He said he was kept in a police cell for 24 hours before being released on unconditional bail.

"When they first arrested me I couldn't get to sleep that night in the cell," he said.

"They kept me in until 4pm the next day, and I was even asked if I wanted to put the interview off because I looked in such a state.

"I just wanted to get it over with though."

He said: "Going to court was a nightmare -- a horrible nightmare."

Mr Rowen said the pressure was so bad at times that he was frightened to leave his front door in case he was verbally abused or physically attacked.

"I didn't want to go out. When I did I always watched my back," he said.

"I'm now getting my confidence back to go outside, but it's still hard.

"I've no idea what to do now. Things are getting back to normal but very slowly. There's always going to be bigots out there who aren't interested in what the court says.

"It's been a long year, I've had my trial and I want to get on with my life.

"It's been really hard on my wife. I think she's been close to having a nervous breakdown at times. It wasn't just affecting me."