Thief beats 3 sleeping sisters with hammer at upscale London hotel (video)By Mason White 9:15 AM November 18, 2014
|Philip Spence (left) and Thomas Efremi|
By: Wayne Morin
(Scroll down for video) A man was arrested, charged and convicted of assault after breaking into a hotel room and beating three sisters with a hammer, prosecutors in the United Kingdom said.
Now, the man who was convicted for breaking into the upscale London hotel room, has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years.
33-year-old Philip Spence of Abbeyfields Close, Harlesden, was sentenced at the Southwark Crown Court. He was sentenced to three life sentences for each count of attempted murder, to run concurrently.
He will serve a minimum of 18 years before he can apply for parole.
Spence admitted to attacking the women during a burglary at the Cumberland Hotel in the early hours of the morning, but had denied trying to kill them.
This was rejected by the jury who convicted him of three counts of attempted murder and one of aggravated burglary. Also sentenced in court was 57-year-old Thomas Efremi of Upper Handa Walk, Islington.
Efremi supplied Spence with the claw hammer, and the two men agreed that Spence would steal from hotel bedrooms and they would share in the proceeds.
Efremi was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, and two years and three months for fraud. The sentences will run concurrently.
The court heard that the victims arrived in London from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for a family holiday. They went sightseeing before returning to the hotel around 5:30 p.m.
At 1:13 a.m., Spence entered the hotel lobby and took the elevator to the fifth floor, before using the stairs to go up to the seventh floor, where the family members were asleep in their shared adjoining rooms.
The door to the corridor of their shared room had been left open to allow a fourth sister to come and go.
Spence entered the room and began rifling through a bag, which woke Khulood, 37, who was in bed with her two daughters, aged nine and 11.
Spence approached her and demanded money, before repeatedly striking her on the head with the claw hammer until she lost consciousness.
Her screams woke her sister Fatima, 31, who tried to stop Spence, but he turned his attention to her, striking her until she too was unconscious.
The third sister, Ohoud, 34, asleep in the adjoining room with her nine-year-old nephew, suffered the most injuries. Ohoud was hit with such force that her skull was split open and she is not expected to recover from her injuries.
She lost part of her brain, and she can no longer speak. One eye was removed. Fatima suffered multiple skull fractures and underwent surgery.
She also suffered damage to her ear, arm and facial nerves. Khulood underwent emergency neurosurgery for multiple skull fractures and had surgery.
She also suffered a fractured arm and underwent surgery to reconstruct facial bones.
The alarm was raised by the fourth sister, who returned to the room to find her sisters gravely injured and nieces and nephew covered in blood.
The emergency services arrived shortly thereafter.
A forensic pathologist concluded that all three women suffered life-threatening injuries, and it was only through prompt medical and surgical treatment that they each survived.
Having left the sisters for dead, Spence stole a suitcase of valuables, which included cash, credit cards, mobile phones, watches and iPads.
He left the hotel and made his way to Efremi. Ten minutes later, Efremi left to use the stolen bank cards to withdraw cash. He went to a number of ATMs and made ten withdrawals totaling 5,000 pounds ($7,827).