at the hands of somebody

at the hand(s) of (someone or something)

Due to the actions of. At least her first loss came at the hands of a very formidable opponent.
See also: of

at the hands of somebody

,

at somebody’s ˈhands

(written) if you experience something at the hands of somebody, they are the cause of it: So far hundreds of innocent civilians have died at the hands of the terrorists.
See also: hand, of, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
"The real question, and we didn't refine this until we got later into the season, was 'Who was gonna go?' And I think for our purposes, Troy has become such a pivotal character that if he were to go, it needed to be at the hands of somebody ...
Detective Inspector Helen Spooner said: "Joshua was allowed to die at the hands of somebody he feared while his mum took no action to protect him."
After the verdict, Detective Inspector Helen Spooner, of Cheshire Police, said: "Joshua was allowed to die at the hands of somebody he feared, somebody who had hurt him before, while his mum took no action to protect him.
"Children are afraid to talk about the exploitation because child abuse often occurs at the hands of somebody that is known to the child or related to the child.
"All the natural resources are at the hands of somebody else.