A Surrey man who murdered his mom by shooting her in the head with a shotgun will not be eligible to apply for parole until he’s served 18 years of his life sentence.
Justice Heather MacNaughton sentenced Nathanael Forshaw on May 21, in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Oct. 4, 2019 killing of Dianne Forshaw, 63, of Surrey.
“The Forshaw family has been left to grieve the loss of their wife and mother who was taken from them through the actions of their son and brother. They will also be losing their son and brother to the criminal justice system,” MacNaughton said. “Their lives have been profoundly changed. I have no doubt that they have agonized over how they could have prevented the murder. It is hard to imagine a family having to cope with a more difficult situation.”
The judge noted in her reasons for sentencing that Nathanael Forshaw is “extremely shy and introverted,” had few friends growing up and had been bullied in elementary school.
“As a result of his troubles in school, his mother home schooled him from grades four to ten. During this time, Mr. Forshaw said that he had very little social interaction with peers,” MacNaughton said. “Because his mother was religious, Mr. Forshaw says that he was expected to attend church as a child, contrary to his wishes. He stopped attending in mid-adolescence.”
Forshaw, who attended Tamanawis secondary school in Surrey from Grades 10 to 12, described his mother as being “extremely strict” when he was a child, MacNaughton added. “As a youth, he was physically disciplined by his father, but he believes that the discipline was carried out at his mother’s direction.”
In 2015, he moved out of his parents’ home into an apartment before returning to live in their basement two years later.
After the murder Dr. David Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist, concluded Forshaw had been suffering from a major depressive episode in the months leading up to his crime, and was also suffering from Cannabis Use Disorder and perceived his mother to be “constantly criticizing him and exerting control over his life.”
“Very shortly after he killed her, Mr. Forshaw called the police and later fully confessed to what he had done. He was originally charged with first degree murder, but the Crown agreed to accept a guilty plea to second-degree murder,” the judge noted. The Crown and defence jointly recommended that he not be eligible to apply for parole until he’s served 18 years.
After deciding to kill his mother, he found the key to a safe where the gun was stored, loaded it, then ripped pages from her Bible, the judge said, “strewing them in a path” to lure his mother into his basement bedroom, where he was waiting behind a chair with the gun. He waited for her to turn and face him, so she knew who was killing her, before pulling the trigger.
He had no prior criminal record. Because he has been in custody since his arrest on Oct. 4, 2019, and his parole eligibility runs from his date of arrest, Forshaw will be eligible to apply for parole on Oct. 4, 2037.