Carjack gang jailed for ex-boxer Michael Watson attack

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Michael WatsonImage source, PA
Image caption,
Michael Watson made an appeal on Crimewatch following the carjacking attempt

Two men who tried to carjack ex-boxer Michael Watson, causing him flashbacks and seizures, have been jailed.

Mr Watson, who was left partially disabled after a 1991 world title bout with Chris Eubank, was attacked in Chingford in February 2017.

Simon Luck, 29, and Paul Samuels, 31, also sprayed ammonia in the eyes of Mr Watson's carer, Lennard Ballack.

The pair, who were also found guilty of another carjacking, were each jailed for 16 years.

Luck and Samuels beat and kicked Mr Ballack as they tried to steal a Volkswagen Golf.

Mr Watson was dragged along the road as Samuels drove the car off at high speed, having been unable to escape after becoming caught in his seatbelt.

The attackers eventually abandoned the carjacking.

Image source, CPS
Image caption,
The gang stole a white Audi at a petrol station forecourt in Loughton during one attack

Sentencing them at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Judge Oscar del Fabbro said Luck and Samuels had unwittingly attacked a "sporting legend".

He 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."

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Watson said: "Since this ordeal I have suffered nothing but flashbacks. I have suffered from five or six physical seizures due to the stress."

Adding that he now feels anxious, he said: "I feel sickened, mentally stressed by what these people have done to me."

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
(L to R) Anselm Legemah, Simon Luck and Paul Samuels were jailed at Snaresbrook Crown Court

The attackers, along with Anselm Legemah, 23, were also found guilty of an attack two weeks earlier in nearby Loughton.

They sprayed ammonia at the driver of a car, causing him permanent eye damage, and injured the female passenger who had been celebrating her 16th birthday.

Luck and Samuels, both of Bluebell Avenue, east London, were found guilty of two counts including conspiracy to commit robbery and applying a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable, or to inflict grievous bodily harm.

Luck was further sentenced to four years after being found guilty of two counts of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply, namely heroin and crack cocaine.

Samuels was handed two further years after admitting the same offences.

Legemah, 23, of Elkington Road, east London, was jailed for 16 years for the Loughton carjacking.

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