A murder victim’s partner has blasted the justice system after his killer was bailed for attempted murder just a month before the attack.

Yassar Moussa, 37, was stabbed in the neck by Richard Hand before his naked body was dumped in St James Park in Walthamstow.

At the time of the killing in August 2020, Hand was on bail for fracturing the skull of his friend and fellow drug user Graeme Bennett during an "out of the blue" axe attack.

Hand has now been sentenced to at least 30 years’ prison after being found guilty of murdering Mr Moussa and attempting to murder Mr Bennett.

Mr Moussa’s partner, Lauren Battye, said: “I strongly feel the criminal justice system has failed Yas.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Yassar Moussa. Picture: Met Police.Yassar Moussa. Picture: Met Police.

“If he (Hand) had not been released from prison this would not have happened.”

She added: “We had plans and dreams to fulfil as a family.

“Some nights I cannot cope with the ordeal.”

Judge Rebecca Poulet QC said the court does not know what triggered Hand’s attacks but that he had been addicted to heroin for 11 years.

He was friends with both of his victims and murdered Mr Moussa, who he knew was a fellow drug user, at his home in Falmouth Way, Walthamstow.

Referring to Ms Battye, the judge added: “Your actions have deprived her of a loving partner and her two-year-old child of his father.

“Not surprisingly she feels let down by the justice system as a result of Richard Hand’s release on bail.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Richard Hand. Picture: Met Police.Richard Hand. Picture: Met Police.

Hand had previously been sectioned, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and had expressed sympathy for the aims of Islamic terrorism.

There was no suggestion the murder was linked to any fundamentalism, the court heard.

A Judiciary spokesperson said decisions to grant bail are made by the court on a case-by-case basis and judges are guided by relevant law.

Factors they must consider include the offence’s nature and seriousness, the probable method of dealing with the defendant, as well as their character, antecedents and community ties.

Judges must also consider: “The strength of the evidence against the accused; and the risk that the accused may engage in conduct likely to cause physical or mental injury to anyone else.”

It is currently unknown if the prosecution applied for bail to be denied in this case.

The Crown Prosecution Service has been contacted for comment. Updates to follow.