Chris Dawson accused of ‘committing the ultimate betrayal’ during sentencing hearing

Nov 10, 2022
Dawson sat in the court dock dressed in prison greens during Thursday's sentencing hearing. Source: Getty Images.

Chris Dawson has fronted the New South Wales Supreme Court once again to face a sentencing hearing after being found guilty of the murder of his wife Lynette in August.

Justice Ian Harrington delivered Dawson’s guilty verdict claiming he was “satisfied” the now 74-year-old resolved to kill his wife, after a marathon four-hour hearing on Tuesday, August 30.

In wrapping up the verdict, Justice Harrington said there was no other reason for Lynette’s disappearance than a “conscious and voluntary act committed by Mr Dawson with the intention of causing her death”.

“I find you guilty,” he said.

Dawson has maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to the murder charges and vehemently denying any involvement in Lynette’s disappearance, claiming she abandoned him and their young children to join a religious group in the Blue Mountains.

Dawson sat in the court dock dressed in prison greens during Thursday’s November 10 sentencing hearing where Lynette’s brother Gregg Simms delivered a powerful victim impact statement where he accused Dawson of “committing the ultimate betrayal”.

“You were accepted into our family unconditionally when you married Lyn,” the statement said.

“We considered you an equal in all respects. We trusted you. You repaid us by committing the ultimate betrayal.

“We even joined your family watching you and your brother playing football in winter.

“You betrayed us. You betrayed our trust and belittled us.

“The absence of Lyn in our lives has left a huge hole, which can never be replaced.”

Later in the hearing, emotions ran high as Dawson’s daughter Shanelle delivered her own impact statement where she explained that “there are not enough words in the English language to describe the impact” her father’s “foul deed” had on her life.

“The night you removed our mother from our lives was the night you destroyed my sense of safety and belonging in this world for many decades to come,” she said.

“Almost all of the love, nurturing and kindness vanished from my life.

“Because of your selfish actions, we will never see her again … feel her hold us or hear her laugh.

“There are not enough words in the English language to describe the impact of 41 years of deceit, trauma, being silenced and gaslighted.”

Shanelle detailed the “massive grief” she had experienced “on every level”, labelling her father a “conniving monster” who was “hell bent” on getting what he “wanted at any cost”.

Shanelle fought through tears as she read her statement before pleading with her father to reveal where her mother’s body is located.

“Please tell us where she is,” she said.

“I hope you will finally admit the truth to yourself and give us the last bit of closure we need to make at least partial peace with this horrible tragedy.”

Dawson’s eyes remained closed with his head down as his daughter delivered her statement.

During the hearing, the prosecution told the court that they were seeking a life sentence for Dawson given the “heinous” nature of the crime for which he has shown “no remorse”.

Defence lawyer Greg Walsh argued that “this is not a case of great heinousness nor one that can fall into the worst category”.

Justice Ian Harrison revealed that he will reserve his sentencing decision for three weeks and is expected to had down his verdict on December 2.

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