By Neil Halligan
Defendant claimed he just wanted to make sisters pass out to stop them screaming
The man who attacked three Emirati women during a London hotel robbery was high on drugs during the incident, a London court heard this week.
Philip Spence, 32, told Southwick Crown Court that he meant to make the sisters “pass out” after waking them during the robbery of their hotel suite at the Cumberland Hotel, near Marble Arch, in central London.
He said he hit the sisters with the hammer when one of them started shouting. Spence fled the scene with a suitcase full of stolen items, including a including a white Cartier diamond-encrusted watch worth more than AED70,000 ($19,057) and Louis Vuitton jewellery.
He told the court the he had spent the day taking crack cocaine and heroin at the flat of Neofitos “Thomas” Efremi, before the pair had an argument. He ended up going to the Cumberland, where he said he regularly went to sleep in the maids’ cleaning closets, and to scavenge food from trays left in the corridor.
Spence, who admits three counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of aggravated burglary, said he was shocked when he saw the news coverage of the attack.
He denies three counts of attempted murder and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.
Efremi has admitted one charge of fraud but denies conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.
The trial continues.