Man convicted of East London murder while on bail for axe attack

A 43-year-old man has been convicted of the murder of Yassar Moussar while he was on bail for attacking a man with an axe.

Richard Michael Hand of Falmouth Way, Waltham Forest appeared at the Old Bailey today (October 15) and was found guilty of murder.

The trail lasted two weeks.

Officers arrested Hand on August 29 2020 after Yassar Moussar’s body was found in undergrowth near a brook in St James Park, E17, five days earlier.

A post-mortem carried out on 25 August showed the cause of death was stab wounds to the neck.

An investigation found that Yassar had last spoken to his friends on August 22.

CCTV evidence revealed that Yassar had travelled to Hand’s home address and phone records revealed that the two had spoken that day.

Detectives carrying out a search of Hand’s address found Yassar’s blood stained in communal bins outside, a bent knife and sustainable cleaning material including bleach.

He was charged on August 30 2020.

Yassar Moussa was murdered by Hand in 2020

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The murder of Yassar took place while Hand was on bail for the attempted murder of Graeme Bennett, a 56-year-old man, who was attacked with an axe to the head at an address in Fortrose Gardens, SW2, on 29 January 2020.

Hand also found guilty of the attempted murder and having an offensive weapon.

The court heard Hand, who was friends with the victim, had hit him over the back of the head in a completely unprovoked attack.

The victim suffered a fractured skull, two deep cuts on the back of his head and a deep cut to his hand.

Hand was arrested and charged with this offence on 30 January 2020 and he appeared in custody at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court the next day.

He was remanded in custody until he was released on bail after a hearing at the Old Bailey on 22 July 2020.

Detective Chief Inspector Laurence Smith, the lead investigator, said: “Richard Hand is a dangerous man who has launched two unprovoked attacks on men who thought they were his friends.

“I am glad he has now been brought to justice and is likely to be sentenced to serve a significant portion of the rest of his life in jail.”

He will be sentenced for both crimes on October 19.

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