A teenager has denied making false claims of rape, sexual assault and human trafficking to police, at a hearing at Preston Crown Court.

Eleanor Williams, 19, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of doing an act tending and intending to pervert the course of public justice.

Williams, of Teasdale Road, Walney, is accused of falsifying evidence and making false claims to the police between October 20 2017 and May 22 2020.

The charges relate to five men, including a man from Barrow who was accused of rape and sexual assault on three separate occasions.

Another man was also accused of rape and three men were accused of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

During the hearing, Williams sat in the dock with her head bowed, speaking only to answer “not guilty” as the charges were put to her.

She denied “doing a series of acts which tended or intended to pervert the course of justice” by making false rape claims and falsifying evidence.

She was released on bail and will stand trial in August 2021.

An application was made to extend the time Williams can be kept in custody before she stands trial next year.

It is understood the case has been delayed due to difficulty accommodating trials due to covid restrictions.