Kiwi accused of Canadian murder faces more charges - reports

By Abby Gillies

Former Napier city councillor Peter Beckett pictured in 1998. Photo / Supplied
Former Napier city councillor Peter Beckett pictured in 1998. Photo / Supplied

A former Napier city councillor accused of murdering his wife in Canada is reportedly facing further charges of attempting to arrange the deaths of a police officer due to give evidence and a lawyer involved in his trial.

Peter Beckett, 56, is due to stand trial in Canada in May for the murder of his wife Laura Letts-Beckett.

She died two years ago near Shelter Bay, about 50km south of the Canadian city of Revelstoke.

Mrs Letts-Beckett, 50, was originally thought to have drowned in a lake when she fell from a boat while fishing with her husband because she was not wearing a life jacket and could not swim.

But after a year-long investigation, Beckett was arrested by Canadian police in August last year.

He has been in custody awaiting trial and a further investigation had resulted in additional charges of counselling to commit murder and obstruction of justice, Vancouver's

Beckett's alleged targets were believed to be a police officer due to be a witness in his murder trial, and a lawyer - whose function in the trial was not known, the website reported.

The new charges "focused on allegations that Peter Beckett was attempting to influence the outcome of the upcoming criminal proceedings related to his first degree murder charge," a Southeast District Major Crime Unit spokesman was quoted as saying.

"Beckett is alleged to have counselled to commit the murders of persons whom the Crown would be relying upon as witnesses for those criminal proceedings. Fortunately this police investigation prevented any harm or loss of life from coming to these individuals," the website quoted spokesman Captain Dan Moskaluk saying.

Beckett was a Napier city councillor for one term, from 1998 to 2001, and ran a tourism business taking Unimog tours to Cape Kidnappers.


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