The jury in the murder trial of former Napier City councillor Peter Beckett has retired to consider a verdict.

The Crown prosecutor finished his summing up today at Kelowna Supreme Court in British Columbia, Canada.

Iain Currie reminded the jurors about Beckett's testimony in which he claimed he reeled in his rod before trying to go to his wife's rescue, something Beckett said he did out of instinct.

"Think about a 'fisherman's instinct' ... Could that be anything but a lie? Could that be true?" Currie said.


For it's part, the defence had attempted to poke holes in the Crown's case, calling its suggestion of murder for insurance money a "tortured theory", the Salmon Arm Observer reported.

Mr Beckett's wife, Laura Letts-Beckett, drowned at Upper Arrow Lake in August 2010.

SCENE: Upper Arrow Lake, where Laura Letts-Beckett is thought to have drowned. Photo/File
SCENE: Upper Arrow Lake, where Laura Letts-Beckett is thought to have drowned. Photo/File

The Crown alleged Mr Beckett pushed her off the boat they were on, knowing she could not swim.

Prosecutor Iain Currie told the court Beckett planned this to obtain $500,000 in life insurance money.

Defence lawyer Marilyn Sandford questioned the reliability of a Crown witness who alleged Beckett tried to hire him to murder his wife's parents.

She said the witness - who was granted name suppression - was "a con man who plays games with police and was playing games in the courtroom", according to Info News Canada.

The man was paid thousands of dollars in exchange for his testimony, she said, and simply made up the story.

The defendant never tried to claim the life insurance which had been taken out years earlier, Ms Sandford said.


Mr Currie said the policy taken out four years earlier did not cover accidental death and the couple added accidental death insurance less than two months before Ms Letts-Beckett died.

Ms Sandford said if her client was motivated by money, he would be better off keeping his wife alive, because she earned a good wage and would likely inherit money from her well-off parents when they died.

Both of Letts-Beckett's parents were in the courtroom for the first time to hear the closing arguments, Info News Canada reported.

Mr Beckett was a Napier City councillor from 1998 to 2001, before leaving to move to Canada to join the woman who was then known as Laura Letts.