Kiwi accused of plotting witness hit

Last updated 05:00 13/12/2012

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A former Napier councillor accused of killing his wife is also 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, 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 lifejacket 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.

Corporal Dan Moskaluk, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said it was alleged Beckett was plotting to kill trial witnesses, 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 the council in 1998, and disappeared just as quickly three years later.

While a councillor, Beckett was involved in a bar stoush in which he verbally abused a rugby team before slapping the captain.

Beckett was employed as a school bus driver when arrested.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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