N.S. Supreme Court ruling gives 100 per cent of life insurance to man who killed his wife
Sarabeth Forbes, 33, was killed on April 18, 2017 by her common-law husband, Richard Maidment, also known as Richard MacNeil. (Photo: Facebook)
HALIFAX -- A Nova Scotia man found not criminally responsible for killing his wife will receive 100 per cent of her life insurance policy.
Richard Maidment -- also known as Richard MacNeil -- killed Sarabeth Forbes in their home in Gardiner Mines, N.S. on April 18, 2017.
The couple had been in a common-law relationship for 10 years and had a son together. Maidment was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2012, which made him unable to continue to work for Nova Scotia Power as a welder, and he began collecting long-term disability benefits.
In December 2017, a judge found him not criminally responsible in the killing "on account of mental disorder."
According to a Supreme Court of Nova Scotia ruling released Thursday, Forbes' mother was caring for the couple's young son, and had applied for the life insurance on the boy's behalf.
However, Maidment was listed as the policy beneficiary and their son was listed as the contingent beneficiary – something that only applies if "all beneficiaries predecease the Life Insured or are otherwise disqualified from receiving the death benefit."
Thursday's ruling states that, while there is public policy preventing criminals from benefiting from their crimes, it also says that, since Maidment was found not criminally responsible, he can collect the life insurance.
"That public policy rule has no application to this case. Richard has been found to be not criminally responsible," Justice Frank Edwards wrote in his decision. "He is not a criminal."
Justice Edwards also pointed out that the life insurance policy that Forbes purchased designated Maidment as the beneficiary of 100 per cent of the policy.
"Sarabeth did not revoke or change her beneficiary of one hundred per cent of Sarabeth's life insurance policy," Edwards wrote. "There is no lawful reason to disqualify Richard from benefitting under Sarabeth's life insurance policy."