Hotel hammer attacker found guilty of attempted murder of UAE sisters
Philip Spence, 33, bludgeoned his victims repeatedly in front of their children in their suite at London's plush Cumberland Hotel near Marble Arch.
Click here to add Anthony Leonard as an alert
Disable alert for Anthony Leonard,
Click here to add Efremi as an alert
Disable alert for Efremi,
Click here to add Fatima as an alert
Disable alert for Fatima,
Click here to add James Moss as an alert
Disable alert for James Moss,
Click here to add Josh White as an alert
Disable alert for Josh White,
Click here to add Khulood as an alert
Disable alert for Khulood,
Click here to add London as an alert
Disable alert for London,
Click here to add Louis Vuitton as an alert
Disable alert for Louis Vuitton,
Click here to add Ohoud as an alert
Disable alert for Ohoud,
Click here to add Philip Spence as an alert
Disable alert for Philip Spence,
Click here to add Shaikha Al Mheiri as an alert
Disable alert for Shaikha Al Mheiri,
Click here to add Southwark Crown Court as an alert
Disable alert for Southwark Crown Court,
Click here to add Tracey Hughes as an alert
Disable alert for Tracey Hughes
A jury panel of five men and seven women unanimously found Philip Spence, accused of attacking three Emirati sisters with a hammer in a London hotel, guilty of three charges of attempted murder.
Judge Anthony Leonard QC at the Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing till November 17 when Spence and co-accused Neofitos ‘Thomas’ Efremi will be sentenced.
“You will appreciate that I cannot sentence until I have a full history in relation to the two defendants, in particular in relation to Spence, as I am bound to be considering a very substantial sentence,” the judge said.
Philip Spence, 33, bludgeoned his victims repeatedly in front of their children in their suite at the plush Cumberland Hotel near Marble Arch, central London.
Khulood, 36, and her sisters Ohoud, 34, and Fatima, 31, suffered smashed skulls and life-threatening injuries after the bloodbath in the early hours of April 6 this year.
Spence had been smoking crack for two days when he spotted a stash of designer bags through a partially open door as he prowled the corridors on the seventh floor of the hotel.
He slipped into the suite and began cramming iPads, phones and precious jewellery in a suitcase he found.
Her bloodcurdling screams woke sister Fatima who desperately tried to stop the attack. But Spence started to rain blows down on her head until she too lost consciousness. Khulood’s two daughters, aged just 11 and seven, were also in the room.
Next door their sister Ohoud and Khulood’s nine-year-old son were sleeping.
Spence brutally pounded Ohoud’s head with the hammer, destroying the left side of her skull and leaving her for dead. Part of her brain was protruding from a hole in her forehead.
Khulood’s son was later found cowering under the bed sheets next to his bludgeoned aunt.
Spence then fled the scene with the stolen suitcase stuffed with valuables including a white Cartier diamond encrusted watch worth £12,000 and Louis Vuitton jewellery.
Half-sister, 19-year-old Shaikha Al Mheiri, narrowly escaped the attack but returned to the rooms later that morning to see the sickening aftermath.
Fellow crack addict Efremi, 57, is accused of plotting the burglary with Spence and providing him with the hammer.
The duo were unemployed and funded their class A habit through benefits and a life of crime.
After the attack Spence and Efremi rummaged through their spoils before Efremi left his flat with Fatima’s bank cards to withdraw £5,000.
Unable to contain himself, Efremi threatened a police officer as he left the dock following the verdicts, shouting ‘I’ll kill you’.
Third defendant James Moss, 33, earlier admitted handling stolen goods after he was caught with a stash of the sisters’ property in his cellar.
But valuables worth thousands of pounds were never recovered.
Efremi admitted a single charge of fraud.
Moss admitted one charge of handling stolen goods.
Spence, who previously boasted that he “always had a hammer with him”, had an appalling criminal record for burglary and violence.
It can now be revealed that he stood trial at the Old Bailey a year before he wandered into the hotel past security and tried to murder the three sisters.
Spence stabbed and poured boiling water over heavily pregnant Tracey Hughes, 28, as she cowered in a bath.
Spence had also once attacked his landlord with a hammer in a row about his rent and once launched a random attack on strangers in the street.
Spence admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but denied intending to kill the women.
By Josh White