Acid attack car thieves convicted

|News, Violent crime

UPDATE: On 21 September Simon Luck received a total of 20 years in prison which includes 4 years for a drugs matter. Paul Samuels got 18 years which includes 2 years for a drugs matter and Anselm Legemah got 16 years.

A gang of carjackers who sprayed corrosive ammonia into the eyes of their victims have been convicted after a public appeal by former boxer Michael Watson.

Simon Luck, 29, Paul Samuels, 31, and Anselm Legemah, 23, were found guilty of conspiracy to rob, and applying a corrosive fluid, today (13 September) after a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Michael Watson, who was partially disabled in a boxing match in 1991, appeared on BBC’s Crimewatch after he and his carer were the victims of an attempted robbery. During the attack on 16 February 2017 in Chingford, east London, ammonia was sprayed in the face and eyes of Mr Watson’s carer and he was also kicked and punched.

The robbers abandoned their attempt to steal the car after Mr Watson was trapped by the seatbelt in the car door and dragged 500 yards along the road. The robber left the bottle of ammonia on the front passenger seat.

In an earlier attack on 4 February, Samuels and Legemah stole a white Audi S3 from a petrol station forecourt in Loughton, Essex.

They persuaded the driver to open his window on a pretext of asking for a cigarette lighter, squirted ammonia into his eyes and face, causing him permanent damage, before ordering him out of the car and driving away.

The robbers used a stolen Mercedes to carry out the two attacks. Days after the Chingford offence, the crashed car was found with the airbag deployed. Luck’s DNA was found on the airbag and a bottle of ammonia, the same brand as used in both offences, was found under the passenger seat.

Richard Heatley, of CPS London North, said: “These three men acted together to steal cars. Samuels and Legemah wore hoods as they attacked their victims, while Luck drove the car.

“They were willing to cause serious harm by throwing corrosive substances and exposing their victims to great danger without regard for their safety.

“The prosecution was able to prove its case against each of them with a combination of evidence, including CCTV, DNA and phone evidence.

“Our message is clear. If you throw acid or any other corrosive substance you will have to face the consequences.”

Notes to editors

  • Simon Luck [DOB: 23/07/1989], Paul Samuels [DOB: 18/11/1986] and Anselm Legemah [DOB: 30/11/1994] were found guilty of:
    • Conspiracy to commit robbery between 28 January 2017 and 27 February 2017.
    • Applying a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable or to do grievous bodily harm contrary to section 29 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. [On 4 February 2017]
  • Luck and Samuels were also found guilty of:
    • Applying a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable or to do grievous bodily harm contrary to section 29 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. [On 16 February 2017]
  • Nicholas Earl-Quarcoo is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in CPS London North.

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