Trial opens for Kiwi accused of Canadian murder

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

An ex pat New Zealander accused of murdering his wife has gone on trial in Canada.

Former Napier city councillor Peter Beckett, 56, is standing trial at Salmon Arm Provincial Court for the murder of his wife Laura Letts-Beckett by allegedly pushing her off a fishing boat in 2010.

The trial opened today in Canada [Tuesday local time] and is set down for five days.

Mrs Letts-Beckett, 50, died two years ago near Shelter Bay, about 50km south of the Canadian city of Revelstoke.

She 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.

A further investigation resulted in additional charges of counselling to commit murder and obstruction of justice, Vancouver's revelstoketimesreview.com reported.

Beckett's alleged targets were believed to be a police officer due to be a witness in his murder trial, and a lawyer, the website reported.

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

- APNZ

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