A man has been charged following a series of bomb hoaxes across Manchester City centre, including one which led to the evacuation of the Arndale shopping centre.

James Anthony Black, 38, of no fixed abode, is charged with three offences of bomb hoax - communicating false information - between 14 and 17 February.

He is due to appear at Manchester magistrates' court on 20 February.

The first hoax threat was made against Piccadilly train station, the second against 'the arcade' (Noble's amusement arcade in Piccadilly), and the third against the Arndale Centre.

The bomb hoax at the Arndale centre led to the evacuation of thousands of shoppers after police received a threat at around 3pm on 17 February.

Police said they evacuated the building as a precaution as they believed the threat was "one of a series of recently received hoax calls".

The three hoaxes came after a controlled explosion was carried out on a laptop on 8 February following reports of a "suspicious package" found in a car.

A large area of the city centre was cordoned off as a result of the scare and public transport was disrupted.

The Arndale Centre was severely damaged after a bomb planted by the IRA was detonated in 1996.