Judge slams lack of remorse shown by three ammonia-wielding carjackers who launched a horrifying acid attack on boxing legend Michael Watson.

PUBLISHED: 18:01 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:09 21 September 2018

Legemah, Samuels and Luck attacked former boxer Michael Watson. Pic: Met Police

Legemah, Samuels and Luck attacked former boxer Michael Watson. Pic: Met Police


A judge criticised the lack of remorse shown by three ammonia-wielding carjackers who launched a horrifying acid attack on boxing legend Michael Watson MBE.

Simon Luck, 29, Paul Samuels, 31, both of Bluebell Avenue, Manor Park and Anselm Legemah, 23, of Elkington Road, Plaistow were each sentenced to 16 years for conspiracy to carry out two carjackings on February 4 and 16, 2017.

Mr Watson and his carer were targeted as they drove through Chingford in February last year, with the latter being sprayed in the face and eyes with ammonia and also kicked and punched.

Sentencing the trio, His Honour Judge Oscar del Fabbro said: “Throughout the trial not one of you expressed sympathy for these victims.”

The judge described the attacks as ‘almost militaristic’ as all the robbers knew ‘exactly what to do’.He added: “There was a significant degree of planning behind these robberies.”

Commenting on the attack on Mr Watson, the judge said: “He [Mr Watson] rose to considerable fame as a world champion contender and he was made of sterner stuff both physically and mentally, unlike any of you sitting there in the dock.”

The former boxer, who is partially disabled after a boxing match with Chris Eubank in 1991, was left trapped in his seatbelt in the car door and dragged 500 yards along the road.

The gang then decided to abandon their attempt to steal the car, leaving the bottle of ammonia on the front seat.

In Mr Watson’s victim statement today, read to the court by prosecutor Robert Evans he said: “Since this ordeal I have suffered nothing but flash backs.

“I have suffered from five or six physical seizures due to stress.”

He added: ““I feel mentally stressed by what these people have done to me.

“I have turned down eight public appearances and my charity work has suffered.”

Less than two weeks before the incident, Samuels and Legemah stole a white Audi S2 from a petrol station forecourt in Loughton, Essex.

Bradley Robinson, 19, was persuaded to open his window by asking for a cigarette lighter, and had ammonia then squirted into his eyes and face, causing him permanent damage, before ordering him out of the car and driving it away.

Mr Robinson’s passenger, a 16-year-old girl, suffered burns on her legs and was forced to jump out of the car as it was moving.

The robbers used a stolen Mercedes to carry out the two attacks.

In a victim statement highlighting the impact on his life Mr Robsinson said: “I couldn’t eat, take a shower or text a friend unassisted.

“My life was ruined.”

The robbers used a stolen Mercedes to carry out the two attacks.

The group would approach their intended target from the rear, either blocking them in or shunting them to stop the vehicle they wanted to steal, before they would incapacitate them by spraying a noxious substance into their face.

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 used in both offences, was found under the passenger seat.

After the sentencing Mr Watson was very pleased that justice had been served.

He said: “I’m very pleased they’re off the streets.

“I hope this sends a good message to those out doing the same thing in society.

“It is truly a miracle I’m still here standing. I’m doing my best to get myself back on track.”

Detective chief inspector Mike Hamer from the Metropolitan Police Service said: “We welcome the sentences today, the judge has handed out significant sentences which we think reflect the seriousness of the crime.

“We’re hoping the sentences will have a deterrent effect on people who may be inclined to use noxious substances.”

Luck and Samuels were additionally sentenced for possession with intent to supply class A drugs after a quantity of drugs were discovered when officers searched their addresses last year.

Luck received four years imprisonment and Samuels was jailed for two years. Both sentences will run consecutively to the above.

Latest Newham Stories


Essex Senior League: Saffron Walden Town 4 Clapton 0

Essex Senior League

A young filmmaker has shone a spotlight on an outreach scheme trying to tackle knife crime.

United Kingdom

Councillor Susan Masters, Clare Roche, Head of Fundraising at Richard House and Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz.


The power of sport remains unrivalled in its ability to inspire change, improve lives and unite communities.

Premier League
Yesterday, 18:11

London Lions maintained their lead at the top of the BBL Championship with victory on the road against Worcester Wolves.

Yesterday, 17:00

Imam Haque lives in East Ham, and soon he’ll begin training for his first London Marathon, for Age UK.

European Union
Yesterday, 16:56

Leyton Orient came from behind to beat Bromley and extend their unbeaten run in the National League to six matches, while also returning to the top of the table.

Dean Brill
Yesterday, 16:00

The inexperienced teenager tasked with overseeing West Ham United women’s team will have his journey followed in a new BBC Three series.

United Kingdom


Have you spent time as an unpaid carer? If you are over the age of 25 and living in Newham, the Working for Carers scheme can help you take the first steps back to employment.

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now