A man who battered a mum and daughter in a "brutal and unprovoked" hammer attack will spend an indefinite period in a psychiatric hospital after pleading guilty to attempted murder.

Joe Xuereb, 28, of Adderley Gardens, Eltham, struck both victims repeatedly with a hammer in a sickening assault on August 19, 2018.

Ania Gos, 30, and her 64-year-old mother spent weeks in hospital and suffered life changing injuries after they were beaten unconscious.

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Xuereb pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of an offence weapon before being sentenced at the Old Bailey today.

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He was sentenced with the hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

Judge Richard Marks said a life sentence would have been inevitable for Xuereb if it wasn’t for his psychiatric illness.

The court heart how he approached the victims from behind before striking them with the hammer in broad daylight.

He continued to pound them as they lay motionless, and police say the women were "incredibly lucky" to survive.

Xuereb fled the scene on Adderley Gardens but was identified days after the attack in Bexley and was arrested.

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Detective Sergeant Matt Deans said: "This was a brutal and unprovoked attack which both victims are incredibly lucky to have survived.

"This horrific incident has had a significant impact on both of their lives and we hope this conviction will bring them some kind of closure."