Wed. May 29th, 2024

Chris Dawson loved former wife Lynette, court hears, as murder conviction appeal begins

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May20,2024
A finding Chris Dawson murdered his wife was unreasonable because he had loved her and tried to restore a relationship fractured as he pursued a teenage girl, a court has been told.
The ex-teacher is appealing a verdict by Justice Ian Harrison from August 2022 that he murdered his wife Lynette and disposed of her body on 9 January 1982 because he was infatuated with the schoolgirl.
As a three-day hearing started in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday, the 75-year-old’s barrister Belinda Rigg SC said her client made an effort to repair the relationship with his wife in the days before she disappeared.
This was because the teenage student, who can legally only be identified as JC, had indicated she did not want to be in an intimate relationship with her teacher, Rigg said.

“The evidence indicates that (Dawson) in January 1982 had feelings for both women, for JC and for his wife,” she said.


Dawson told police Lynette disappeared the day after appearing distressed while drinking wine. Source: Supplied / NSW Police

Dawson and his wife had attended marriage counselling on 8 January 1982 and were seen as being positive and happy.

However, the ex-teacher had told police Lynette appeared distressed that night while drinking wine.
She disappeared the next day.
Rigg said it was plausible Ms Dawson had decided to take a few days alone to think things over given her husband’s pursuit of his student and babysitter.
“She and (Dawson) were at an absolute crossroads in terms of working out what to do,” the barrister said.

“Her circumstances were likely to have been equally fragile at the time.”

Dawson watched the hearing by video-link from Clarence Correctional Centre near Grafton.
There was not enough evidence to show his wife was not alive on 9 January 1982, when Dawson claimed he received a phone call from her at a swimming pool on Sydney’s lower north shore, a three-judge panel was told.
She told him that she needed time alone, Dawson said of that conversation.
“He contends that on the whole of the evidence, it was not open to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of his guilt,” Rigg said.
To prove Dawson guilty of murder, crown prosecutors needed to show that his wife was dead by the time of the Northbridge Baths phone call, the barrister argued.

While Rigg admitted her client had been in love with the teenage girl at the time his wife disappeared, she said there was no evidence that he was jealous or possessive of her at the time.

A key finding by Justice Harrison was that Dawson killed his wife because he was infatuated with the babysitter.
If Dawson’s legal challenge fails, the former PE teacher and Newtown Jets rugby league player is likely to die in jail after being sentenced to a maximum prison term of 24 years.
The jail stint will expire in August 2046 — when he would be aged in his mid-90s.
He will be able to apply for parole in August 2041 after his sentence was extended by a year when he was .
Because Lynette Dawson’s body has never been found, laws preventing convicted murderers from being paroled until they disclose the location of their victims mean Dawson could be forced to serve the full term.
If you or someone you know is impacted by family and domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732, or visit . In an emergency, call 000.
Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Chris Dawson loved former wife Lynette, court hears, as murder conviction appeal begins”
  1. It appears that Chris Dawson’s emotions were conflicted between his wife and the student, which could have led to a tragic outcome. The court should consider all aspects before reaching a final verdict.

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