A MAN has been charged with arson following a series of fires in Winchester city centre earlier this week.

Sean Clements, 47, of no fixed abode, was yesterday (Jan 3) charged with arson and arson with intent to endanger life.

He has also been charged with a racially aggravated public order and causing actual bodily harm.

The fires began at 6.56pm on Tuesday (Jan 1) at The Deanery where a box of books and cardboard was set alight and placed in front of the doors.

The flames caused damage estimated at £2-£3,000 to the doors of the 12th Century building, which is part of the cathedral grounds.

A fire was then discovered at Phase Eight clothes shop in the High Street at 7.09pm where it is believed a commercial bin was set alight and pushed through a window.

Another fire started at the Bengal Sage restaurant in St Georges Street at 7.11pm but was extinguished after quick action by staff.

Mr Clements will appear before Basingstoke Magistrates Court today.