'Really disgusted': Cape Breton man who killed partner granted more freedom
HALIFAX -- The friend of a Cape Breton woman killed by her partner says she is sickened that he has been granted more freedom.
“I’m really disgusted,” said Kim Murphy outside a Halifax courtroom on Monday. “I don’t believe in the law anymore.”
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 had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2012. In December 2017, a judge found him not criminally responsible in the killing "on account of mental disorder."
Maidment was allowed to spend six days a week back home in Cape Breton, but was required to spend one day a week at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth.
On Monday, during his annual hearing, the Nova Scotia Criminal Code Review Board granted Maidment a conditional discharge, which means he can now live permanently in his community, with oversight from the East Coast Forensic Hospital.
“He no longer has to reside in the hospital, he can go home on a full-time basis,” explained Dr. Scott Theriault, a psychiatrist at the East Coast Forensic Hospital.
“But that he’s still subject to overview of the hospital, so we would make sure that he maintains his medication, that he maintains his good mental health, that he follows the direction of the board in terms of who he can have contact with, who he can’t have contact with.”
Theriault says the board reviews the patient’s progress over the past year before making a decision. The hospital files a report, and makes a recommendation to the board, which makes its decision based on that recommendation.
Murphy says she is “hurt” and disgusted” at the decision.
“We done everything we could. We spoke to every meeting and I guess I was unheard,” she said. “It’s too soon for that kind of decision, but the panel makes the decision based on Richie, not the family that he has hurt.”
Murphy says she realizes Maidment is sick, but believes he needs more treatment.
“To send him out in the public this soon after what he did, I don’t think it’s a very good idea,” she said. “From this point on we have to try to avoid him and basically not go anywhere’s on our own and keep our doors locked because we don’t know what he’s capable of doing.”
Theriault says the Criminal Code Review Board determined that Maidment “remains a significant risk to the public,” but added that he is showing a good response to medication.
“He has to have ongoing oversight and so our job now is to monitor him in the community, make sure that his risk is managed,” said Theriault. “Because of the nature of the illness that he has, the best way to do that is make sure that his illness remains stable. So that’s why he needs solid psychiatric and mental health follow-up on an ongoing basis, to manage that risk in the community, and if there’s a relapse in illness that we can pick it up early and manage it before it becomes problematic.”
While Maidment is required to follow up with mental health services and take his medication, Murphy is concerned about him living in Cape Breton full-time.
“I would like for Richie to be put out of Cape Breton,” she said. “I would like to see him get more care that he needs and stop babying him.”
This is the second time in as many months that a decision involving Maidment has caused outrage.
Last month, Maidment was granted 100 per cent of Forbes’ life insurance policy because he was listed as the policy beneficiary and was found not criminally responsible in her death.