A man has pleaded not guilty to arson with intent to endanger life, after a fire broke out at a hotel in Stevenage town centre.

Yousef Abdinesir, of The Forum in Stevenage, appeared at Cambridge Crown Court last week.

The 26-year-old was arrested after police were called to reports of a fire at the Ibis hotel in The Forum at 11.53pm on Monday, January 1.

It is reported that a laundry bin was on fire on the fifth floor. A number of guests were evacuated as a precaution, with three people treated for minor smoke inhalation.

Mr Abdinesir was charged with arson with intent to endanger life and remanded in custody.

A trial has been set for the week commencing May 20.