Three Emirati sisters who were victims of a horrific claw hammer attack at a London hotel last year were due to arrive in the UAE last night (Saturday) in a special plane.
The sisters were to be flown back from London in a medically equipped plane which was sent to London upon the directives of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, according to official news agency Wam.
The UAE embassy in London stated that the three sisters who underwent medical care for 10 months were due to arrive in the UAE late on Saturday night.
The three sisters including Khulood Al Najjar, 36, and her sisters Ohoud, 34, and Fatima, 31, suffered fractured skulls and life-threatening injuries after the attack in London’s Cumberland Hotel in the early hours of April 6, last year. Having left the women for dead, the defendant collected a suitcase full of valuables and fled. All three sisters who were attacked suffered life-threatening injuries.
The sisters were flown back two days after the man who attacked them with the claw hammer was given an extra nine years to his sentence on Thursday, January 29.
Philip Spence, 33, who had been convicted by a London court to an 18-year sentence was given additional nine years and his sentence was increased to 27 years in jail.
Spence was earlier sentenced for the 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 on Thursday, he stared blankly ahead as the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, argued the sentence was “unduly lenient” and Spence deserved a whole-life term.
Lifelong criminal Spence had been smoking crack for two days when he spotted designer bags through a partially open door as he prowled the corridors on the seventh floor of the hotel on April 6.
He slipped into the suite and began putting iPads, phones and precious jewellery in a suitcase he had found.
When Khulood woke up, Spence leant over her before raining down blows with the hammer he had concealed in his jacket.
Her terrified screams woke sister Fatima who, showing âremarkable courage’, desperately tried to stop the attack.
But Spence started to rain blows down on her head until she too lost consciousness. Khulood’s two daughters, aged just 11 and seven, were also in the room.
Spence brutally pounded Ohoud’s head with the hammer, destroying the left side of her skull and leaving her for dead.
Part of her brain was protruding from a hole in her forehead following the savage attack and she was left with just five percent brain function.
Philip Spence, 32, denied attempted murder but admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm
Weapon: The hammer, which the court heard was 'licked clean of blood' by Spence
Jailed: Phillip Spence in the lobby of the Cumberland Hotel at 1.13am on Sunday, 6 April
Attack: A view of the Cumberland Hotel in central London