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Alperton hotel hammer attacker ‘is crack cocaine and heroin addict’

PUBLISHED: 13:03 09 October 2014 | UPDATED: 13:47 09 October 2014

Police custody image of Philip Spence taken on April 10

Police custody image of Philip Spence taken on April 10

Archant

A man from Alperton who attacked three women with a claw hammer in their London hotel room is a crack cocaine and heroin addict who boasted to police about licking blood from his weapon, a court heard.

The hammer used to carry out the attackThe hammer used to carry out the attack

Sisters Ohoud Al-Najjar, Khulood Al-Najjar and Fatima Al-Najjar, from the United Arab Emirates, were staying at the four-star Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch on a family holiday when they were beaten on the head in a “vicious and sustained” attack.

Philip Spence, 32,of Abbeyfields Close, admits grievous bodily harm against the three women in the early hours of Sunday April 6 but denies attempted murder.

Southwark Crown Court heard that following the attack Spence made several visits to Emma Moss, whose brother James, from Stroud Green, north London, has admitted handling stolen goods in relation to the case.

In a police statement read out in court, Ms Moss said: “I have known Philip Spence since I was 10 years old. My family and his family are long-time friends.

“I have never been in a relationship with Philip and we have no sort of relationship because of his drug addiction. I believe he uses crack cocaine and heroin.

CCTV still of Spence in the entrance area at the Cumberland Hotel on Sunday, 6 April. at 1.13amCCTV still of Spence in the entrance area at the Cumberland Hotel on Sunday, 6 April. at 1.13am

“He doesn’t have a home and stays with different people. The last address he was at was in south-east London.

“I know Philip to be a criminal who commits burglaries and robberies and he has told me he has stolen from hotels before.

“He is also someone who exaggerates and tells lies.”

The court heard that on the evening of April 6, Spence turned up at Ms Moss’s home.

In her statement to police, she said: “He was hyperactive and told me about getting £50,000 worth of jewellery, BlackBerrys, iPods, bags and perfume.

Philip Spence attacked the three sisters at the Cumberland Hotel (Pic credit Google Streetview)Philip Spence attacked the three sisters at the Cumberland Hotel (Pic credit Google Streetview)

“He told me he got them from a hotel room. I knew he had done something bad but he often tells tales.”

Ms Moss said Spence was on crack but that she thought nothing more of what he had told her.

The following day he returned and appeared to be “paranoid”, telling Ms Moss that his friends were trying to set him up and he was in “big trouble”.

She said Spence told her what had happened with the hammer, adding: “Philip always carries a hammer with him.

“Philip told me that he had left the hammer there (at the hotel). He was crying but I believe this was about himself, not the women.”

The court also heard that when he was arrested on April 10, Spence allegedly told police: “There ain’t no blood on the hammer. I licked it all off, it went down my throat, yeah.”

He was also said to have asked officers: “Why so many of you involved? Are the Arabs paying you to catch me?”

Spence is also standing trial for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary alongside Thomas Efremi, 57, from Upper Handa Walk in Islington.

While he was being held at Islington police station, Spence told officers: “You know the only person you should be holding is Tom.”

Efremi, who denies the conspiracy charge but has admitted one count of fraud in relation to the case, shook his head in the dock as the statement was read out and looked away from Spence, who stared straight ahead.


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