Former Napier City councillor found guilty of murder

  • 17/09/2017
He has been jailed since 2011.
He has been jailed since 2011. Photo credit: File

A former Napier city councillor has been found guilty of murdering his wife in Canada and immediately jailed for at least 25 years.

Peter Beckett, 60, has been on trial in the British Columbia city of Kelowna for the murder of Laura Letts-Beckett, who drowned in nearby Arrow Lake in 2010.

The jury, which had been deliberating since Tuesday, returned a guilty verdict on Saturday, CBC News reports.

Beckett was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 25 years, which is a mandatory sentence for first-degree murder.

Prosecutors argued Beckett took out an accidental death insurance policy on his wife two months before she died and wanted to get his hands on her inheritance.

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