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Victim 'has only 5% brain function'

A female victim of a hammer attack at a four-star hotel has been left with just 5% brain function and lost her left eye, police said.

The woman, who is from the United Arab Emirates, remains in a critical condition after she was attacked, together with her two sisters, in their room at the four-star Cumberland Hotel near Marble Arch in London's West End in the early hours of last Sunday.

Police confirmed following a court hearing for a man accused of the attack that the woman's sisters remain in hospital in a less severe condition.

They confirmed that the main victim suffered life-threatening head and facial injuries, has lost her left eye and significant quantities of blood.

Doctors have assessed that she has 5% brain function, although her other organs are in a good working condition.

Another sister suffered two fractures to her skull, a broken left arm and a fracture to her cheekbone.

She is expected to remain in hospital for a considerable time, and will have two operations in the coming week.

The third sister has a fracture to her skull and a ruptured left eardrum.

She was released from hospital on April 8 but readmitted on April 9 with severe head pains.

An unknown quantity of property worth well over £1,000 was taken following the attack and withdrawals totalling £3,000 were made on one of the victim's bank cards.

The women had come to London for shopping and sightseeing and arrived in the UK between April 3 and 5.

They had visited large West End stores last Saturday and were staying near Europe's busiest shopping street, Oxford Street.

Philip Spence, 32, of Parkside Road, Hounslow, west London, was today remanded in custody by District Judge Mike Snow after appearing at West London Magistrates' Court accused of the attack.

He is charged with three counts of attempted murder and one of aggravated burglary.

Thomas Efremi, 56, of Upper Handa Walk, Islington, north London, appeared in court charged with handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation, while James Moss, 33, of Hanley Road, Finsbury Park, north London, appeared charged with receiving stolen goods.

Both men were also remanded in custody and will appear together with Spence at Southwark Crown Court on April 17.

Carly Baker, 31, of Hanley Road, Finsbury Park, is charged with handling stolen goods and is expected to appear on bail at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

All four are British nationals, police have confirmed.

A 34-year-old man has been bailed to return pending further inquiries on a date in May.


From Belfast Telegraph