Emirati sisters to sue London hotel after attack

Three women from UAE were bludgeoned at Cumberland hotel in 2014 by Philip Spence, leaving one profoundly disabled

Picture courtesy The Cumberland Hotel Facebook page.
Picture courtesy The Cumberland Hotel Facebook page.

Three Emirati women at the Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch, London were attacked by a hammer-wielding man Philip Spence in 2014, are now planning to sue the hotel, according to recent media reports.

Pence who has since been sentenced to life in jail, will serve a minimum of 18 years in prison, and left one of the sisters Ohoud al-Najjar, 38, “profoundly disabled” after he hit her six times with a hammer. She has been left with just 5% brain function, can no longer speak and can only see out of one eye. The other two sisters Khuloud and Fatima, suffer a range of symptoms as a consequence of the attacks, which include epilepsy and behavioural disturbances, reports The National.

The sisters, along with six others who were on the trip, have made a high court claim for injury, loss and damage, according to the Guardian.

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However, the hotel contesting the claim said it “cannot accept liability given the facts surrounding the incident, which include these guests having left their hotel bedroom door ajar, visible from the corridor, whilst the family was asleep inside”.

The Guardian reported that 33-year-old Spence already had 37 convictions for 62 offences dating back to 1993, including a hammer attack on his landlord in 2007. Spence was described during his trial as “a crackhead”.

During his sentencing, Anthony Leonard QC said: “It is nothing short of a miracle combined with the finest medical attention that led to Ohoud surviving the attack. You used deliberate and gratuitous violence over what was needed to carry out the robbery.

“Hardened police officers and paramedics who attended the scene said what they saw was horrendous and the worst they had seen across their careers.”

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