Spence ‘doesn’t know how to express his sorrow to victims’, lawyer says

William Nash, defending, said Philip Spence had accepted responsibility for the attacks which left three Emirati sisters with life-threatening injuries.

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LONDON // William Nash, defending, said Philip Spence had accepted responsibility for the attacks which left three Emirati sisters with life-threatening injuries.

On Monday at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Nash appealed to Judge Anthony Leonard QC for credit for Spence’s pleas.

But Judge Leonard countered: “It had to be wrung out of him at a time when he had no option but to enter those pleas.”

Mr Nash told the court that Spence was remorseful for his actions but had difficulty expressing himself.

“As far as his attitude towards the offences are concerned, it is something that he has considerable difficulty in expressing.

“I think the best way I can put it is to present some of the quotations, as near as I can, what he said to me when I was in conference with him.

“Firstly, in terms of apologising and feelings for the victims and their family, he indicated to me that he had been considering ways in which he could express this.

“He said: ‘I don’t know how to say sorry to these people, I don’t see how I am supposed to put it into words. I don’t think I can write a letter, I don’t think they would want to receive a letter from me’.

“I present that as an indication that he has been concerned as to how to express remorse,” said Mr Nash.

Mr Nash said: “He [Spence] quite readily said to me that he didn’t know of any other crackhead as bad as him.

“He said he couldn’t forgive himself and he described himself as becoming a different person, totally different from who you are.”

Spence had sought drugs treatment but was unable to secure a place on rehabilitation programmes because he did not have a permanent address.

“He finally made a comment to me which is particularly relevant, which is that he accepted that the victims were, as he put it, were coming here to have a good time.

“It was ‘really brutal’ was the note I made of the comments he made.”

Spence had seized an opportunity when he saw the open door, said Mr Nash.

“It is clear that the first thing that started to lead to these offences was the discovery by him of an open door and that clearly he couldn’t have in any way anticipated that would have been the case.”

Philip Spence, 33, will serve a minimum of 18 years for the brutal attacks after he bludgeoned the Sharjah sisters Khuloud Al Najjar, 36, and her sisters Ohoud, 34, and Fatima, 31 in the early hours of April 6 in their room at the Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, central London, in front of their children.

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