x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Detectives ‘distraught’ with level of violence in London hammer attack

Top cop says even hardened detectives were sickened by the brutality of the hammer attack on three Emirati sisters at a London hotel earlier this month.

Jennifer Bell

LONDON // A senior police officer with Scotland Yard has said the brutal hammer attack on three Emirati sisters in a top London hotel sickened some of his most hardened detectives.

On April 6, Khuloud Al Najjar, 36, lost her left eye and now has only 5 per cent brain function. Her sister, Ohoud, 34, suffered two skull fractures, a broken left arm and a fractured cheekbone. The third victim, Fatima, 31, had a fractured skull and a ruptured left eardrum.

“The level of violence in the Cumberland Hotel incident was such even some of our most experienced, hardened detectives were absolutely shocked and distraught with what they had to deal with,” said chief superintendent Paul Rickett, of Westminster Borough police.

Speaking to The National at his office in West End Central Police Station, chief supt Rickett said both the Cumberland Hotel incident and the second attack on Emiratis, in Westbourne Gardens, Paddington, were brutal in their nature.

“Less so with the Westbourne Gardens incident,” he said. “Fortunately, the victims were fine but, yes, the level of violence used at the Cumberland Hotel was extreme.”

He said incidents of this nature were uncommon: “Thankfully they are incredibly rare.”

Scotland Yard made several arrests in the wake of the April 7 incident.

Philip Spence, 32, appeared in court and was charged with three counts of attempted murder and one of aggravated burglary.

Thomas Efremi, 56, was charged with handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation, while James Moss, 33, was also charged with handling stolen goods.

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

Investigations into the second attack are ongoing.

Anyone with information on the latest incident is asked to called Westminster CID on 0044 778 818 6208.

jbell@thenational.ae