LONDON // A woman was fighting for her life in hospital on Monday night after a man bludgeoned her and her two sisters with a hammer in their London hotel room.
The Emirati women, in their thirties, and three children aged 7 to 12 were asleep in adjoining rooms on the seventh floor of the Cumberland Hotel in central London when they were attacked in the early hours of Sunday.
Police were called to the hotel at 1.50am. They said the women were attacked after they awoke and disturbed the intruder.
Detectives found a hammer at the scene.
The three women suffered head and facial injuries. One is in a critical condition in hospital. The others are in a serious but not life-threatening condition. The children were unharmed.
The Metropolitan Police are treating the attacks as attempted murder and have appealed for anyone with information to contact them. The investigation is being led by detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, under Detective Chief Inspector Andy Chalmers.
“This was an unusually violent attack on three women and I am very keen to speak with anyone who was in or around the hotel between 1am and 2am on Sunday,” he said.
“Did you see or hear anything that could be of use to my officers? If so, we would like to hear from you as soon as possible.”
Detective Superintendent Carl Mehta of Homicide and Major Crime Command said: “This is an exceptionally unusual and rare incident to have taken place in a busy London hotel and we are currently working around the clock to identify and secure CCTV as well as forensic evidence opportunities.
“At this early stage in the investigation we believe the motive for this attack to be theft. However, we retain an open mind.
“We also understand hotel room security was not breached and the door to the family’s room was unlocked at the time of the incident. We are working closely with the family and the hotel to explore this further.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was closely following events.
Rashid Al Dhahiri, director of citizens affairs at the ministry, said the competent authorities were following up on the incident in conjunction with the UAE Embassy in London.
Mr Al Dhahiri said the embassy was following up on the case with security authorities, and the Metropolitan Police were investigating.
“We are aware of reports of a serious incident at a London hotel involving UAE nationals,” a Foreign and Commonwealth office spokesperson said.
“It is our top priority to help those who have been injured in the incident and do everything we can to help them and help police in their investigation,” said a spokesperson from the Cumberland Hotel.