UAE woman 'brain-damaged' after London hotel attack

LONDON (AFP) - An Emirati woman attacked in her London hotel in a suspected burglary last weekend lost an eye and has been left with only 5 per cent of her brain function, police said on Saturday.

The woman and her two sisters, all from the United Arab Emirates, were brutally attacked with a hammer in their room at the four-star Cumberland Hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A British man appeared in court on Saturday accused of three counts of attempted murder and one of aggravated burglary, while three others have also been charged with handling stolen goods.

Outside court, police gave an update on the victims, who are all in their 30s and were in London for a shopping trip.

"The main victim suffered life-threatening head and facial injuries, has lost her left eye and significant quantities of blood," Detective Inspector Adam Ghaboos said.

"Doctors have assessed that she has five percent brain function, although her other organs are in good working function," he added, without elaborating further.

Another sister suffered two fractures to her skull, a broken left arm and a fractured cheekbone, and is due to undergo 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 Tuesday but was readmitted the following day with severe head pains.

Three children were asleep in an adjoining room during the attack, but they were unharmed.

Property worth more than £1,000 (S$2,091) was taken and withdrawals totalling £3,000 were made on one of the victims' bank cards.

Philip Spence, a 32-year-old from London who is accused of the attack, was remanded in custody following his appearance at West London Magistrates' Court.

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