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Beckett jury hung, new trial ahead

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/04/2016
Former Napier city councillor Peter Beckett © TVNZ Former Napier city councillor Peter Beckett

The Canadian jury in the trial of the New Zealander accused of murdering his wife at a local lake hasn't been able to reach a decision and the case will be reheard, according to a report.

The 12-strong panel in Kamloops, British Columbia, returned hung on Tuesday evening, four hours after the judge urged them to come to a unanimous verdict in the case of Peter Beckett.

There was one dissenting voice, Kamloops This Week reports.

Beckett, 59, remains in custody and the lawyers will return to court on Monday to set a new trial date.

The trial, which started took nearly five years after Beckett was arrested, lasted four months.

A former Napier councillor, Beckett is accused of murdering Laura Letts-Beckett in August 2010.

She drowned while fishing on Arrow Lake, British Columbia.

The Crown says Beckett shoved her off the boat so he could profit from her inheritance, insurance money and their house.

Beckett claims she was depressed and could have been suicidal.

Beckett served one term on Napier City Council from 1998 to 2001 before leaving to start a new life in Canada, where he worked as a school bus driver.

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