London hotel hammer-attack trio remanded in custody pending hearing in July

Khuloud Al Najjar and her sisters Ohoud and Fatima were attacked in their hotel room on the seventh floor of the Cumberland Hotel in London on April 7 by a man wielding a hammer.

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Three men have been remanded in custody for a hammer attack that left one Emirati woman in a coma and injured two others.

Khuloud Al Najjar, 36, and her sisters Ohoud, 34, and Fatima, 31, were attacked in their hotel room on the seventh floor of the Cumberland Hotel in central London between 1am and 2am on April 7 by a man wielding a hammer.

Khuloud remains in critical condition and lost her left eye, while Ohoud suffered two fractures to the skull, a broken left arm and a fractured cheekbone.

The third victim, Fatima, has a fractured skull and a ruptured left eardrum. The sisters were sleeping in adjoining rooms with three children, who were left unharmed.

A special delegation from Abu Dhabi Police travelled to London shortly after the attack, to coordinate with local police and offer support to the victims. Senior members of the UAE leadership have also met with the sisters’ family, including their mother, who was visited at her home by Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa, adviser to the President.

Four suspects – three men and a woman – were arrested a day after the attack at homes in Islington in north London. The four appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday after being formally charged on Friday last week.

Philip Spence, 32, of no fixed abode, appeared in court charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated burglary, Scotland Yard said. Thomas Efremi, 56, appeared at court charged with handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation, while James Moss, 33, was also charged with handling stolen goods.

The next hearing will take place at Southwark Crown Court on July 3.

The female suspect, Carly Baker, 31 who was charged with handling stolen goods, was released on bail to appear at the same hearing.

A fifth suspect, a 34-year-old man, who was arrested on April 10, was bailed at a separate hearing.

* Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse