Hammer attack in women's Marble Arch hotel room

Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch. The women were attacked in their hotel room near Marble Arch, Scotland Yard said

Three women have been bludgeoned by a hammer-wielding attacker in a room at a central London hotel.

The man entered a room on the seventh floor of the Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch where three women and three children were sleeping, police said.

It is believed that when one of the women woke up, they were hit about the face and head with a hammer.

The Met said the condition of one woman was "critical" and the attack was being treated as attempted murder.

'Unusually violent attack'

Scotland Yard said the suspect struck shortly before 02:00 BST on Sunday and a hammer was recovered from the scene.

Det Ch Insp Andy Chalmers said: "This was an unusually violent attack on three women and I am very keen to speak with anyone who was in or around the hotel between 01:00 and 02:00 on Sunday morning."

It is understood that the women, who are all from the United Arab Emirates and in their 30s, had deliberately left their door unlocked because they were staying in the hotel as part of a large family group.

It is thought the family, who had come to London for shopping and sightseeing, had visited large West End stores on Saturday.

Police said no keys had been stolen and they were carrying out "a detailed forensic examination both of the room as well as the surrounding area" and examining CCTV.

A spokesman for Guoman Hotels, which runs the 1,000-room Cumberland, said: "All of our thoughts are with the families of the injured women.

"We are doing everything we can to support the police with their enquiry, but it is too early to comment any further."

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