Man found guilty of London hotel hammer attacks

October 21, 2014 admin No comments

Philip Spence

Philip Spence has been found guilty of the shocking attack (picture: Metropolitan Police/PA)

A man who beat three sisters in a vicious hammer attack as they slept with their young children in a luxury hotel has been found guilty of attempted murder.

Philip Spence, 32, committed the brutal act on the three women, all of whom were tourists from the United Arab Emirates, in the Cumberland Hotel, and left them for dead.

He then escaped the scene with a suitcase containing iPads, gold jewellery and mobile phones, before dumping the claw hammer outside the London hotel.

One victim, 34-year-old Ohoud Al Najjar, was repeatedly hit with such force that her skull split open as her nine-year-old nephew cowered under the sheets next to her.

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of a hammer that was used in an attack on three women, and was shown as court evidence in the case against Philip Spence who has been found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of the attempted murder of the women. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 21, 2014. Spence, 32, bludgeoned sisters Ohoud Al-Najjar, Khulood Al-Najjar and Fatima Al-Najjar,from the United Arab Emirates, in the four-star Cumberland Hotel, leaving them for dead. He fled the scene with a suitcase stuffed with iPads, gold jewellery and mobile phones, and dumped the claw hammer just outside the central London hotel. See PA story COURTS Hammer. Photo credit should read: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The weapon (Picture: PA)

She survived the horrific attack, but has been left with just five per cent brain function, can no longer speak and lost one eye.

Her sisters Khulood, 36, and Fatima, 31, were both left with life threatening injuries and are still receiving medical treatment.

Spence admitted the attack, which took place in the early hours of April 6 this year, but denied three counts of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court took just a day of deliberations to find Mr Spence guilty.

They had been told how ‘each woman was struck repeatedly to the head by a man wielding a claw hammer, their skulls fracturing and splintering under the onslaught’.

They also heard how the women had left their hotel rooms unlocked on the night of the attack to allow a fourth sister to return later.

Philip Spence

CCTV footage of Philip Spence on the night of the attack (picture: Metropolitan Police/PA)

Spence crept in and was seen by Khulood shortly before 1.30 am. He attacked her as she slept next to her two young daughters, before turning his hammer on her sister, leaving them both unconscious.

It was his final attack on Ohoud, however, that was deemed to be the most savage. Her skull was smashed so badly that brain tissue spilled from a hole in her head.

The fourth sister, Sheika Al Mheiri discovered the horrific scene when she returned later that evening.

He stared impassively as the verdict was read out and now faces a life in prison.

(Files) In this file picture taken on April 7, 2014 members of the media gather outside the Cumberland Hotel in central London. A thief who crept into a London hotel room and brutally attacked three sisters from the United Arab Emirates with a claw hammer was found guilty of attempted murder on Tuesday. Philip Spence, 32, attacked the three women, tourists in London, as they slept with their children at the four star Cumberland Hotel on April 6. A jury of seven women and five men at London's Southwark Crown Court found Spence, from Harlesden in north-west London, guilty and he  could be sentenced to life in prison. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIEANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images

Cumberland Hotel in central London (Picture: PA)

Judge Anthony Leonard QC told Spence: ‘You must realise that any sentence I impose is bound to be a very substantial sentence, subject to the report I receive.’

A guilty verdict was also handed down to Neofitos ‘Thomas’ Efremi, 57, from Islington, North London for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.

After receiving the verdict, Efremi, who walks with a crutch, began pacing around the dock after Spence was escorted out and said to the dock officer: ‘I’ll kill him. He stitched me up.’

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