Third trial ordered for New Zealand man found guilty of murdering Alberta wife in B.C.’s Interior

A third trial will be held for a former New Zealand man found guilty of the first-degree murder of his Canadian wife while the pair vacationed in B.C.’s Southern Interior 10 years ago.

British Columbia’s highest court says a new trial should be held for Peter Beckett because the trial judge was wrong to admit certain evidence and the Crown’s submissions to the jury were improper.

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Jail house snitch testifies in Kelowna trial of man accused of murdering his wife

Beckett, now in his mid-60s, was charged with the murder of his wife, Laura Letts of Alberta, when she drowned as the couple boated on Upper Arrow Lake near Revelstoke in August 2010.

The pair was on vacation from their home near Westlock, located about 85 kilometres north of Edmonton.

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Beckett’s first trial ended with a hung jury and his second trial concluded in 2017 with the guilty verdict.

Click to play video 'Closing arguments wrap up in Kelowna for man accused of drowning his wife'

Closing arguments wrap up in Kelowna for man accused of drowning his wife

Closing arguments wrap up in Kelowna for man accused of drowning his wife

But the B.C Court of Appeal says the finding was not completely unreasonable — so rather than order an acquittal, it has sent the matter for a third trial, with a date still to be determined.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Rare cheese plant stolen from New Zealand botanical garden ‘could fetch thousands on black market’

A rare indoor plant has been stolen from the Christchurch Botanic Gardens amid a boom in the houseplant industry.

The variegated monstera is hard to come by in New Zealand due to biosecurity laws, making it prized among Kiwi houseplant lovers.

Christchurch plant enthusiast Bridget Rennie told Stuff that even a cutting of the plant could fetch NZ$3,000 (£1,500).

She added: “The leaves are like fingerprints, no two are the same. It’s a very rare, very slow-growing plant. I only know of two people who own that plant.

“I’m angry, I’m disappointed, I’m really sad, every emotion you can imagine.”

Wolfgang Bopp, director of the Botanic Gardens told Stuff that the thief must have been “quite athletic” as they had to have scaled a high safety glass wall to reach the prized plant.

The gardens had begun installing security cameras at the time of the theft, but they were not operational when the daylight theft took place on September 19.

He said that the plant possessed “particularly nice” vegetation.

Mr Bopp added: “The thing I find sad is due to the selfishness of one or two individuals we can no longer share this plant with the public. It was there to be enjoyed.”

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