1. ITV Report

Man charged with arson over Winchester fires

The aftermath of the fire at Phase Eight in Winchester Photo: ITV Meridian

A 47-year-old man has been charged with arson after a series of fires in Winchester.

At around 7pm on 1st January 2013, police and fire crews were called to a fire at the Phase Eight clothes shop at the corner of Parchment Street, where police believe a commercial bin was set alight and pushed through the window.

A short time later, a fire was discovered outside the entrance to The Deanery, which is part of Winchester Cathedral grounds and dates back to c1150.Police think a box of books and cardboard was set alight and placed in front of the Deanery doors.

The fire caused substantial damage to the doors and a number of antique books. The cost is of the damage to the doors is estimated at £2,000 - £3,000 and the value of the books is still being worked out.

The Dean of the cathedral was not at home at the time, and three residents of an upstairs flat were unharmed.

A third fire was started at the Bengal Sage restaurant, behind the Porthouse Pub, but fast intervention by the chefs on the premises prevented a blaze from taking hold.

No-one was injured in any of the fires but Phase Eight sustained serious damage.Sean Anthony Clements of no fixed abode has been charged with arson and arson with intent to endanger life.

He has further been charged with racially aggravated public order and actual bodily harm. He is due to appear at Basingstoke Magistrates Court today, 3rd January 2013.