Former Napier city councillor Peter Beckett accused of insurance murder

  • 23/08/2017
Prosecutors say he killed his wife for her insurance policy and inheritance.
Prosecutors say he killed his wife for her insurance policy and inheritance. Photo credit: File

A former Napier city councillor killed his wife in Canada for her insurance policy and inheritance, prosecutors have told a jury.

Peter Beckett, 58, is on trial in Kelowna, British Colombia, over the murder of his wife Laura Letts-Beckett at Arrow Lake in British Columbia in 2010. He is accused of pushing her off their small boat.

Beckett had taken out an accidental death insurance policy on his wife two months before she died, Crown prosecutor Evan Goulet said.

The first witness in the trial, lawyer Raymond Barlow, told the court that earlier in 2010 Beckett had asked to see his wife's wills and when left alone in his office, Beckett began rifling through the files of Mrs Lett-Beckett's wealthy parents, the Kelowna Daily Courier reports.

He said he kicked Beckett out of the office.

Nineteen witnesses are set to testify during the trial, which began this week, including a former cellmate who is expected to claim Beckett tried to bribe him to intimidate witnesses.

Beckett served on Napier City Council from 1998 to 2001 before leaving to live in Canada.

He has been in custody for almost six years, after being charged in 2011. His first trial, last year, ended with the jury unable to reach a verdict.

NZN