Convicted murderer Chris Dawson begins process to appeal his murder conviction

Oct 05, 2022
Chris Dawson has maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to the murder charges and vehemently denying any involvement in Lynette's disappearance. Source: Getty Images.

After being found guilty of the 1982 murder of his wife Lynette, Chris Dawson has now filed paperwork to appeal the recent murder conviction.

Following a marathon hearing that ran over four hours on Tuesday, August 31, Justice Ian Harrington delivered Dawson’s guilty verdict claiming he was “satisfied” the now 74-year-old resolved to kill his wife.

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.

Shortly after the verdict was handed down, defence barrister Greg Walsh indicated his client’s intention to appeal while telling reporters Dawson was “very upset” by the decision.

“He’s upset, he wanted me to ring his wife Sue and talk to her, we don’t know where he’s going to go (to prison),” Walsh said.

“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.”

In making the case for Dawson’s appeal Walsh has previously indicated that Dawson has been subject to threats from fellow inmates and suffers from a number of health issues that will make jail “much harder for him”.

Following a hearing on September 1, 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”.

He also stressed that it wouldn’t be right to send Dawson to jail, considering the health issues the former school teacher is currently facing.

“He’s been diagnosed with dementia,” Walsh said.

“Jail will be much harder for him, he’s got problems with his hips and knees too.”

Dawson will next front court on November 11 for a sentencing hearing.

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