A former Napier city councillor will stand trial for his
Canadian wife's murder next January.
Peter Beckett, 57, is accused of murdering his wife by
pushing her off a boat at a lake near the Canadian city of
Revelstoke in 2010.
A New Zealander raised in Hawkes Bay, Beckett was elected to
the Napier council in 1998, and did not seek re-election at
the end of the term in 2001.
He moved to Canada about 10 years ago, later marrying
Canadian school teacher Laura Letts-Beckett, 50.
They lived north of Edmonton and were on holiday when she
died in what was initially thought to have been a fishing
mishap on a lake near Revelstoke on August 18, 2010.
It was a year before Beckett was charged with first-degree
However, proceedings were delayed when he was further charged
in 2012 with offences relating to allegedly trying, while on
remand in prison, to arrange the murder of five people
associated with the case.
His alleged intended targets included Letts-Beckett's
parents, an Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant and an
British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Ian Meiklem has set
aside six months for the jury trial, Canadian news website
The Province reported.
Beckett is charged with first-degree murder, counselling to
commit murder and obstruction of justice.
He is being held in custody at the Kamloops Regional
Correctional Centre, inland northeast of Vancouver.
Beckett has been filing applications from behind bars,
alleging abuse of process, bias by police and court officials
and failure of the Crown to disclose documents.
- By Brendan Manning of APNZ