This picture taken on April 7, 2014 shows signage at the Cumberland Hotel in central London. Three women from the United Arab Emirates were in hospital on April 7, 2014 after being savagely attacked in their room at a luxury London hotel by a man wielding a hammer, police said. The women, all in their 30s, sustained serious injuries to their heads and faces during the "unusually violent attack" at the four-star Cumberland Hotel. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW COWIE


London - A man was charged with attempted murder on Friday over a hammer attack on three wealthy female Emirati tourists in their luxury London hotel room, police said.

The attack happened at in the early hours of Sunday in a room on the seventh floor of the four-star Cumberland Hotel, next to Hyde Park and the main Oxford Street shopping thoroughfare.

Philip Spence, 32, of no fixed abode, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and one of aggravated burglary and will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday, Metropolitan Police said.

Spence will appear with Thomas Efremi, 56, of Islington, north London, who is charged with handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation, and James Moss, 33, of Finsbury Park, north London, who is also charged with handling stolen goods.

Carly Baker, 31, of Finsbury Park, has been charged with handling stolen goods and has been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates' on Tuesday.

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

The victims were part of a wealthy family group who had come to London for shopping and sightseeing. The women had visited high-end stores in the West End on Saturday.

They were sleeping with three children, who were unharmed, in two adjoining rooms when the attack took place.

One of the victims remains in a critical condition in hospital. The other two women are also in hospital, but their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, police said. - Sapa-AFP