Carjackers who attacked boxing legend Michael Watson by spraying ammonia in his face and dragging him along the ground have been found guilty.

The former professional boxer, 53, and his carer and best friend Lennard Ballack, 54, were set upon by three men in Ridgeway, Chingford on the afternoon of February 16, 2017.

The pair spent two nights in hospital after the vicious attack.

Anselm Legemah, 23, of Elkington Road, Plaistow, Simon Luck, 29, and Paul Samuels, 31, both of Bluebell Avenue, Manor Park, were today (Thursday September 13) convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The court heard how the trio were professional robbers who scouted the streets in a stolen car looking for other high value vehicles to steal.

Mr Watson and Mr Ballack were sitting in a Vauxhall Wagon Golf R when it was rammed by the gang before Samuels sprayed ammonia in Mr Ballack’s face and punched and kicked him to the ground.

A second suspect sprayed the same noxious substance in Mr Watson’s face.

When he tried to escape he became tangled in his seatbelt and was dragged along the ground at speed, as the gang tried to make off with Mr Ballack’s car.

He suffered burn injuries to his shoulder as a result.

Weeks before, in the early hours of February 4, a 19-year-old man suffered permanent damage to his eyes when the gang sprayed him with ammonia while trying to steal his Audi in Church Hill, Loughton.

A 16-year-old girl in the passenger seat was left with burns to her legs after the liquid splashed onto her.

In a victim impact statement, Bradley Robinson said: "As soon as the acid hit me I was immediately terrified.

“A man approached on my window asking for a lighter and as I turned my head acid was thrown in my face.

“My face and neck went numb and my vision blurred instantly, I was panic stricken and could not piece together what even happened I didn't know I had been the victim of an acid attack.

“I was dragged from my car and left in the courtyard trying to feel my way around while they drove off. My passenger, had to jump from the moving car.

“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."

The investigation led officers to a Mercedes which had been abandoned in a scrap yard and it was found to contain Luck’s DNA and a bottle of ammonia.

Police were able to link the three men to the crimes through cloned number pates and mobile phone tracings.

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.

“I would like to commend the bravery of those who gave evidence in court as well as thank the investigating officers involved for their painstaking work to bring these offenders to justice.”

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

Legmah was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and applying a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable, or to inflict grievous bodily harm.

They will be sentenced at the same court on September 21.