Beckett jury hung, trial to be reheard

Beckett jury hung, trial to be reheard

One dissenting voice among a 12-strong Canadian jury has seen the murder trial of former Napier councillor Peter Beckett declared a mistrial.

The jury spent the best part of seven days deliberating over whether to find Beckett guilty of drowning his wife in a British Columbian lake in 2010.

The foreperson passed a note to Supreme Court Justice Ian Meiklem stating it had been unable to reach a unanimous decision; however, the reasons for the stalemate will remain secret.

In Canada, a majority verdict is not an option.

Prosecutors allege Beckett killed Laura Letts-Beckett out of greed, hoping to cash in on life insurance and accidental-death benefits.

Kamloops This Week reporter Tim Petruk has been covering the trial and said Beckett approached him before the result was finalised.

"As we were going back into court to make it all official, he said to me, 'totally predictable' -- like he knew it was coming, apparently," Mr Petruk explained. "I mean, he likes to talk; he's a talker. He wants me to come visit him in jail."

The Canadian journalist told Newshub he's been covering court for eight years and has "never seen a mistrial" and has never seen a jury deliberate for more than two days.

Beckett will remain in custody until his next court appearance on Monday (local time) where a retrial date will be set and logistical issues ironed out.

There's speculation a retrial would be held outside of Kamloops.