To Tell The Truth? - From 'Amanda'

My partner has recently been sent to prison and our ten year old daughter thinks he is working away. 
The other morning before she went to school she asked me if her dad was in prison because one of her friends told her that their mum had told them to stop playing with her because her dad was a scumbag and that he was in prison.
I have had to tell my daughter the truth and she is devastated. She hasn't spoken to me in three days and shuts herself in her bedroom when she comes in from school.
I feel so guilty lying to her but I tried to protect her. Her dad got involved in a fight and was sent to prison on a section 18 charge.
The day he appeared in the local paper I kept our daughter off school so that she wouldn't catch a glimpse of the newspaper in the local shop we stop at on our way to school. If that was wrong then it was wrong but I wanted to protect her.
I have ended up ringing the school and telling them about her dad and they have been quite supportive and helpful. I hope she doesn't get bullied and now I am worried to death about her because she has taken this very badly. I know there are other families in this situation because I have read other very similar stories but it still worries me. I know there isn't much advice you can give me but nevertheless I wanted to share what I am going through and just hope that things get better in time. Thanks PFV :-)