Trial date set for former councillor

By Patrick O'Sullivan

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Former Napier City councillor Peter Beckett is accused of murdering his Canadian wife in 2010.
Former Napier City councillor Peter Beckett is accused of murdering his Canadian wife in 2010.

A trial date has been set for former Napier City councillor Peter Beckett, accused of murdering his Canadian wife in 2010.

Mr Beckett is accused of murdering her by pushing her off a boat into a lake in British Columbia in 2010. The Canadian Westlock News reports Crown prosecutor Will Burrows said six months had been set aside for the trial, starting January 6.

It said the assigned judge was regularly checking progress of pre-trial hearings, before which Beckett was fighting for hard copies of the Crown's disclosure package that outlined the case against him. He was granted access to only certain parts in hard-copy form, the rest electronically.

Raised in Hawke's Bay, Beckett was elected to Napier City Council in 1998 and did not seek re-election at the end of his term in 2001. He moved to Canada about 11 years ago, later marrying Canadian school teacher Laura Letts-Beckett and settling in Alberta.

They were on holiday when she died in what was initially thought to have been a fishing accident, but a year later he was charged with murder.

He also faces two charges of counselling to commit murder and obstruction of justice after allegedly trying to arrange the murder of people associated with the case while remanded in prison.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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