One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Man Jailed For Hotel Hammer Attack
Philip Spence, from Harlesden, will serve a minimum of eighteen years in prison for the attempted murder of three women and aggravated burglary at the Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch in April.
When the 33-year-old entered family's hotel room, armed with a claw hammer, he started going through their bags which woke up Khulood.
Spence started demanding money from the 37-year-old, who was in bed with her two young children, before repeatedly hitting over the head until she was unconscious. Her screams woke up her sister Fatima, who was also badly beaten.
Police say the third attack on Ohoud was the most vicious as he cracked her skull leaving her with life changing injuries.
During sentencing at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Anthony Leonard QC told Spence: "You were responsible for a sustained attack with a hammer on three women visiting this country from the United Arab Emirates."
"The ferocity of that attack was such you left one woman so badly injured she will never walk again unaided.
"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."
Judge Leonard said "It is impossible to say what long term effect this incident will have on the children,"
"Hardened police officers and paramedics who attended the scene said what they saw was horrendous and the worst they had seen across their careers."
"Whatever sentence I impose cannot in the eyes of the family satisfactorily compensate for or reflect sufficiently the injuries you inflicted on these three women."
The man who supplied Spence with the claw hammer has been sentenced, Thomas Efremi from Islington was jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.
After the men were sentenced the Metropolitan Police Service released impact statements from the victims.
Fatima wrote: "I must say that whatever words I use, I will not be able to explain my full feelings of what happened in our hotel room on 6th April 2014. Everything in my life has changed forever. On that night I lost everything; my way of life."
"My sister Ohoud received horrific injuries that from which she will never be able to recover. I remember the day when police officers told me shortly after the incident that Ohoud was dying. She is now confined to a hospital bed for the rest of her life and unable to communicate, eat, see move. She can only squeeze my hand; she is a living dead sister. Seeing Ohoud like this every day breaks my heart."
While Khulood wrote: "My emotions are still very raw. Everything in my life has changed forever. That night I lost everything, my way of life, my sister Ohoud and also my ability to care for my children as much as I would like. I have also lost my job, as I am now medically retired due to my inability to do my job due to the injuries I suffered."
"I am simply not myself anymore. I feel very lonely and have lay in a hospital bed without my sister, children and family. I am extremely upset and emotional. I cannot sleep for anxiety and flashbacks of the sounds of my children screaming. I have a plethora of medication, not to mention the numerous operations I have had. My looks have changed forever; I am not even the same person when I look in the mirror. I have been left without the full use of my left hand, and this is something that will never recover."
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