Richard Maidment—also referred to as Richard MacNeil—has been granted partial freedom after being found not criminally responsible for committing murder “on account of mental disorder.”
A friend of the woman he killed told CTV News that she is sickened by the extra freedom that has been granted.
On Monday, Kim Murphy said “I’m really disgusted with the courts. I don’t believe in the law anymore.”
Maidment killed his partner, Sarabeth Forbes, at their home on April 18, 2017 in Gardiner Mines, N.S. Sarabeth was 33-years-old.
The two had been together in a common-law relationship for a decade and had a son.
In 2012 Maidment was diagnosed with schizophrenia causing the judge to find him not criminally responsible for her death.
Maidment’s previous conditions allowed him to be at home for six days during the week while spending one day at the East Coast Forensic Hospital located in Dartmouth.
The Nova Scotia Criminal Code Review Board allowed a conditional discharge for Maidment on Monday. The new conditions allow Maidment to live freely in his community as long as the East Coast Forensic Hospital is overseeing him.
“He no longer has to reside in the hospital, he can go home on a full-time basis,” said Dr. Scott Theriault, who is a psychiatrist at the 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.”
According to Theriault, the board looks into the progress that the patient has made in the past year in order to come to a decision. A report is filed by the hospital and then a recommendation is made to the board who then makes a decision.
Murphy says the court’s decision has made her feel “disgusted” and “hurt.”
“We did everything we could. We spoke to every meeting and I guess I was unheard,” Murphy told CTV News. “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 noted that she recognizes Maidment’s sickness but thinks more treatment is needed.
“To send him out in the public this soon after what he did, I don’t think it’s a very good idea,” said Murphy. “From this point on we have to try to avoid him and basically not go anywhere on our own and keep our doors locked because we don’t know what he’s capable of doing.”
Theriault noted that the Criminal Code Review Board said Maidment “remains a significant risk to the public” but noted he was responding well to the medication.
Theriault said, “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. Because of the nature of the illness that he has, the best way to do that is making 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.”
Though Maidment has to take his medication and do check in with mental health services, Murphy does not feel comfortable with the fact that he will be living full-time in Cape Breton.
She said, “I would like for Richie to be put out of Cape Breton. I would like to see him get more care that he needs and stop babying him.”
There was more anger around Maidment last month when he was given all of Forbes’ life insurance policy. He was granted the policy because he wasn’t found criminally responsible for the murder and was the policy beneficiary.