A SHOP assistant will appear in court this month accused of making five hoax bomb threats in a single day – all to Churchill Square shopping centre.

Arjunbir Soin, 21, is due before Brighton magistrates on January 18.

He faces five charges of making hoax bomb calls.

The calls were made last Saturday. The first was received by management a little after 9am.

Soin, of Culpepper Close, Moulescoomb, was arrested on the day the calls were made.

He was questioned by detectives and charged 24 hours later.

It is not known if the accused works at one of the many stores inside the shopping centre.

After the bomb threats were made, management at Churchill Square took the decision not to evacuate and shoppers were unaware of the threats.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “Police were informed by Churchill Square shopping centre management Brighton that they had received a phone call alleging there were bombs inside the mall at 9.10am on Saturday.

“Two extensive searches of the centre were carried out by staff assisted by police and nothing was found. The call was deemed to be a hoax and a decision not to evacuate the centre was made by management supported by police.”

The Argus understands retail stores within the shopping centre were notified by centre management of the threats.

Not all retail staff were informed and many continued to work unaware searches were being carried out.

A spokesperson for Churchill Square told The Argus: “We can confirm that hoax calls were made to staff at Churchill Square on Saturday, December 30. The matter was successfully resolved by the local police.”

Saturday was a busy shopping day for those preparing for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The police response on Saturday was in stark contrast to the evacuation of Brighton seafront in September following a hoax bomb call to The Grand hotel.

Then, roads and car parks were closed by police and the area was searched by police dogs and military bomb disposals experts.