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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019

UK carjacking gang who sprayed corrosive ammonia in victims' eyes found guilty

Police said the actions of the trio showed a “complete lack of humanity”.

unnamed (7) (l to r): Legemah, Luck and Samuels Source: Met Police

THREE CARJACKERS who sprayed corrosive ammonia into the eyes of their victims have been convicted, after a public appeal by former professional boxer Michael Watson.

Simon Luck (29), Paul Samuels (31) and Anselm Legemah (23) were all found guilty today of conspiracy to rob and applying corrosive fluid following their trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, in north-east London.

Watson, who was partially disabled in a boxing match in 1991, appeared on an episode of BBC’s Crimewatch after he and his carer were victims of an attempted robbery.

During the attempt in Chingford, east London, on 16 February 2017 ammonia was sprayed in the face and eyes of Watson’s carer, while he was kicked and punched.

The thieves abandoned their attempts to steal the car as Watson was trapped by the seatbelt and dragged 500 yards along the road. One of the robbers left the bottle of ammonia on the front passenger seat.

In an earlier incident, the trio stole a white Audi S3 while it was parked at a petrol station.

They persuaded the driver to roll down his window on the pretext of asking for a cigarette lighter, then squirted ammonia into his eyes and face, before getting him out of the car and driving away. 

Bradley Robinson suffered permanent damage from the attack.

He said in a victim impact statement: “As soon as the acid hit me I was immediately terrified.

It took 15-20 minutes before I could feel my face and eyes burning. It hit me all at once. The incident has had a negative impact on every aspect of my life and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

Police managed to trace a stolen Mercedes that the men used in the attacks to a scrap yard, where it had been abandoned.

Luck’s DNA was found on the bottle of ammonia and the airbag in that Mercedes after the incident involving Watson. Police also identified the same brand of ammonia used in the attacks.

Detective constable Tom Lockwood, from Tower Hamlets CID, said: “The three defendants showed absolutely no consideration for the innocent people they scarred both mentally and physically during these offences to steal high value vehicles.

Their actions show a complete lack of humanity; their frightening and thoughtless motives have wreaked havoc on the lives of those affected.

Luck, Samuels and Legemah will be sentenced next Friday 21 September. 

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Sean Murray

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