Murder-accused plotted to kill witnesses, court hears

Last updated 17:22 12/12/2012

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A former Napier councillor accused of killing his wife is also reportedly charged with trying to arrange the murder of witnesses in his trial including a police officer and a lawyer.

Peter Beckett, 56, was charged last year with murdering Laura Letts-Beckett, 50, in Canada in August 2010.

Police were called to Shelter Bay Provincial Park, in British Columbia after a report she had fallen out of a small inflatable fishing boat.

At the time, police said she could not swim and was not wearing a life-jacket and the case was initially treated as an accident. It was later determined her death was a homicide.

Beckett faced a new charge of counselling to commit murder and obstruction of justice when he appeared in court this week, The Canadian Press reported.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Dan Moskaluk said it was alleged Beckett was plotting to kill witnesses in the trial including a police officer and a lawyer.

He remains in custody awaiting trial.

Former Napier councillor John Harrison has previously said Beckett appeared out of nowhere to gain a seat on council in 1998, and disappeared just as quickly three years later.

While a councillor, Mr Beckett was involved in a bar stoush where he abused a rugby team and demanded "Don't you know who I am?" before slapping the captain.

Beckett was working as a school bus driver at the time of his arrest.

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