One of the “dangerous” Old Malden brothers hunted by police over an acid attack was sent to jail in 2010 for four and a half years for possessing an imitation firearm.

Billy Midmore, 22, of Sheephouse Way, who is known as a “bad boy” in the estate he grew up in, has previously appeared in court for driving, drug and cash seizure offences.

He was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court for one count of robbery, one count of attempted robbery and one count of possession of an imitation firearm on July 9, 2010.

The Surrey Comet visited the estate where the parents of Billy and older brother Geoffrey, 26, live on Thursday afternoon.

It is in the heart of Old Malden, on the edge of the A3, between New Malden and Worcester Park.

About six hours after the attack, Geoffrey posted a status on his Facebook page which said: “I've done something really fucking bad its a proper mad ting sad ting.”

His Facebook account has since been deleted.

The victim of the attack, Cara Whitlock, 37, told the BBC she feared she would lose the sight in one eye as a result of the attack.

An employee at the Londis near the roundabout at Malden Manor station said Billy went to Malden Manor Primary School, and he had known of him for a long time.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said: "He fell in with some bad people."

He said he thought Billy had once spent time in prison.

He added he thought Billy had moved away from the area but returned to stay with his parents.

Of the acid attack he said: "I can't believe it, no one can believe that they can do it."

Surrey Comet:

CCTV footage of the brothers in a McDonald's

Neighbours in the blocks of flats surrounding where the family live knew the Midmore names, and said Billy was known as a "bad boy", but did not know him personally.

A group of people in the block who seemed to know the family would not comment.

A man in a newsagents near the family home knew the pair, but not well.

He did not wish to be named but said: "He [Billy] used to come in for drinks with Geoff but I haven't seen him for three months.”

Detective Inspector Will Whale urged the public to help with the search for the brothers.

He said: "Our message to them and to those who may be helping them is there is no hiding place.

"Anyone who is harbouring the Midmore's or has assisted them since the weekend will be found.”

Billy has been described as white, 5ft 8in, with blue eyes and a scar on his left arm. He is said to speak with a London accent and is of stocky build.

His brother Geoffrey is white, 5ft 1in with green eyes and a scar on the right side of his face. He is of stocky build and has a tattoo on his hand.

The 37-year-old acid attack victim from Southampton was discharged from hospital yesterday with life-changing injuries.

If you think you have seen them or know where they are, do not approach them, call police on 101 immediately, quoting Operation Interstate.