London hammer attacker 'licked blood' from his weapon

The Cumberland Hotel Image copyright AFP
Image caption The three sisters were attacked at the Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch on 6 April

A man who attacked three women with a claw hammer in a London hotel room boasted to police about licking blood from his weapon, a court heard.

Philip Spence, 32, has a history of violence including an attempted hammer attack, the jury was told.

Sisters Ohoud Al-Najjar, Khulood Al-Najjar and Fatima Al-Najjar were on holiday in April when subjected to the "vicious and sustained" attack.

Mr Spence denies attempted murder but has admitted grievous bodily harm.

'Drug addiction'

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption CCTV captured Mr Spence in the entrance area at the Cumberland Hotel on 6 April

The sisters, from the United Arab Emirates, were staying at the four-star Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch on 6 April.

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

In a police statement read out in court, Ms Moss told the court she had known Mr Spence sine she was 10 and that he had a drug addiction.

She explained he had stolen from hotels before.

'Telling tales'

The court heard that on the evening of 6 April, 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.

"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 Mr Spence was on crack but that she thought nothing more of what he had told her.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption The court was told Mr Spence "always carries a hammer"

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 Mr 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 when he was arrested on April 10, Mr Spence allegedly told police: "There ain't no blood on the hammer. I licked it all off, it went down my throat, yeah."

'Threats to kill'

Image copyright Metropolitant Police
Image caption Mr Spence was filmed on a bus on 6 April

Mr Spence, from Harlesden, has also admitted one charge of aggravated burglary.

Simon Mayo QC, for the prosecution, told a jury Mr Spence had been convicted twice for ABH, twice for affray, five times for burglary and once for theft, among other offences.

The violence included attacks on a female council office worker, care home staff and passers-by on the street and Mr Spence also threatened to kill a man he met on an online dating site.

Explaining the previous incident with a hammer, Mr Mayo said in 2007 Mr Spence threatened and chased his landlord at Forest Road in Walthamstow in a row over rent.

Mr Spence is alleged to have planned the attack in the early hours of 6 April with Thomas Efremi, 57, from Islington, north London. Mr Efremi denies conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.

The case continues.

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