Hammer attacker from Alperton has sentence increased by appeal judges
PUBLISHED: 10:45 30 January 2015 | UPDATED: 20:13 02 February 2015
A maniac from Alperton who left three wealthy sisters for dead in a horrific claw hammer attack at a luxury hotel had an extra nine years added to his sentence yesterday.
Philip Spence, 33, of Abbeyfields Close, savagely bludgeoned his victims in front of their terrified children at their suite in London’s Cumberland Hotel.
Khulood Al Najjar, 36, and her sisters Ohoud, 34, and Fatima, 31, suffered fractured skulls and life-threatening injuries after the attack in the early hours of 6 April last year.
Spence was given a life sentence for three counts of attempted murder and ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years before he was eligible for parole, after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.
But Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, argued the sentence was ‘unduly lenient’ and Spence deserved a whole-life term.
He said Spence should be treated like a murderer, because it was only due to advances in modern medicine his victims survived, and their debilitating injuries could be considered ‘equal or worse than’ death.
“He was known to carry a hammer and he was using a hammer as a defensive weapons as long ago as 2008,” Mr Buckland added.
William Nash, Spence’s solicitor, said: “It is an extremely rare event for a whole-life tariff to be imposed for something that doesn’t result in an actual murder.”
The solicitor also denied Spence regularly carried around a hammer as weapon.
The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Globe and Mr Justice Knowles, refused to pass a whole-life tariff, instead increasing Spence’s minimum term to 27 years.
Spence admitted three counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of aggravated burglary.
He denied three counts of attempted murder and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary but was convicted of those charges.
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