Prison authorities have been forced to transfer convicted murderer Chris Dawson to another prison after the 74-year-old was met with death threats from fellow inmates.
Dawson was being held at Silverwater prison as he awaits sentencing for the 1982 murder of his wife but has now been moved to Macquarie Correctional Centre in central New South Wales, as reported by The Courier-Mail.
Mere days after his guilty verdict was handed down it was revealed that Dawson had faced “serious death threats” behind bars.
During a bail application hearing on Thursday, September 1, Dawson’s lawyer Greg Walsh told the court that despite being under strict protection orders his client had been subject to “constant threats” while in prison and requested that Justice Ian Harrison issue a directive to corrective services authorities, ensuring his client’s safety.
Outside of court, Walsh told reporters that his client has “been subject to serious death threats by a number of prisoners” while in Silverwater prison.
“It’s not unusual in this circumstance having regards to his profile and the charge of which he was convicted,” Walsh said.
Walsh also explained that prison is “a very dangerous place” where inmates “can be subject to unprovoked attacks”.
Walsh cited the threats Dawson had received in prison combined with a number of health issues that will make jail “much harder for him” as reason enough to appeal his recent murder conviction.
“Mr Dawson has always asserted, and he still does, his absolute innocence and he will continue to assert that innocence and he will certainly appeal,” Walsh told reporters.
“He’s been diagnosed with dementia.
“Jail will be much harder for him, he’s got problems with his hips and knees too.”
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.
Justice Harrington accepted earlier in his ruling that Lynette was indeed deceased, believing she did not voluntarily leave her home and family as Dawson has continued to maintain.
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.