Chris Dawson’s trial for alleged murder of wife, Lynette Dawson, set to begin

May 09, 2022
Chris Dawson has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Lynette in January 1982. Source: Instagram @murderyourday

Former Sydney high school teacher and star rugby league player Chris Dawson is set to stand trial before the NSW Supreme Court on Monday, May 9, for the alleged 1983 murder of his wife Lynette “Lyn” Dawson.

The 33-year-old mother of two disappeared from the family’s Bayview home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in 1982,  and though her remains were never found, two coronial inquiries ruled that Lynette was murdered and claimed it was by someone she knew.

Chris recently told 9 News that he was “looking forward to justice to be served and the truth coming out” as the trial begins.

“I just want the truth to come out,” he said.

Chris has continuously denied involvement in his wife’s disappearance and maintains that she abandoned him and their young children to join a religious group in the Blue Mountains.

Further suspicion developed after a 2003 inquest heard that Chris was allegedly having sexual relationships with his teenage students during his marriage and after his wife’s disappearance.

Prosecutors had previously stated there wasn’t enough evidence to lay charges.

However, a new investigation was launched after public interest in the case skyrocketed as a result of The Australian newspaper’s podcast The Teachers Pet. 

Following the release of the podcast, in December 2018 Chris was extradited from his Queensland home to New South Wales and was charged with the murder of his wife.

At the time, Police Superintendent Scott Cook said new evidence including witness statements, had helped investigators “tie pieces of the puzzle together”.

As reported by the BBC one of the testimonies comes from one of Dawson’s former 16-year-old schoolgirl lovers, who moved into the family home days after Lynette’s disappearance, later marrying Chris. The two have since been separated.

For two years, Chris’s lawyers fought to have his case stated, arguing that The Australian‘s podcast had caused Chris to face intense public scrutiny which could prejudice the case.

Just last week, their application for a judge-alone trial was granted, meaning Chris will not be tried by a jury of his peers, as there are concerns that it would be difficult to find 12 completely impartial jurors.

It is also understood that Crown prosecutor Craigh Everson SC is also seeking to implement a media blackout over the long-awaited trial.

“It is the massive uncontrolled social media commentary that feeds into things and then starts to compound the problem,” Everson said.

The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks, with Justice Ian Harrison sitting on the trial.

More on this story as it unfolds.

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