Chris Dawson lied that he received multiple phone calls from his wife in the days and weeks after her disappearance to divert attention to her murder, a judge has found.
The former Newtown Jets rugby league player and teacher was in jail Tuesday night after being convicted by Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison of murdering his wife Lynette and disposing of her body in 1982.
After a sole trial earlier this year, Judge Harrison found that Dawson had lied for four decades to cover up the murder of Lynette, who disappeared without ever speaking to her family, children, friends and co-workers.
During his trial, Mr Dawson alleged that Lynette voluntarily left her idyllic existence on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Chris Dawson was found guilty of the murder of Lynette Dawson on Tuesday. Image: NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard
Lynette Dawson was killed by her husband Chris Dawson, a judge has found. Image: Included.
However, Judge Harrison found that evidence of her strong bond with her children was “completely at odds with the allegation” that she left home voluntarily.
He also thought it unlikely that she would have gone away without a change of underwear.
One of the key points of Dawson’s defense was his allegation that Lynette contacted him multiple times after her disappearance.
In his 1991 Queensland police interview, Dawson admitted that it was “extremely odd” that she only contacted him and none of her family members or friends.
According to Mr Dawson’s version of events, on the afternoon of January 9, 1982, he first received a call from Lynette at the Northbridge Baths.
Judge Ian Harrison found that Chris Dawson made several false claims. Image: Sky News
Chris Dawson and JC on their wedding anniversary, two years after Lynette Dawson disappeared. Image: Included
He claimed he dropped her off at a bus stop in Mona Vale earlier that day before she called him at his part-time lifeguard job to say she needed some time off.
“In the weeks that followed, I had similar calls from Lyn, more STD calls, saying she needed extra time,” Dawson told police in his 1991 interview.
But Judge Ian Harrison described Dawson’s descriptions of the phone calls as “contextless” and “riddled with cliches”.
He also said it was doubtful that a woman who had decided to flee her homeland would only turn to the man responsible for her departure.
He said Mr Dawson’s account of a phone call at Northbridge Baths on the afternoon of January 9, 1982 was a “lie”.
He said his version of events was contradicted by the diary of a girl who worked at the baths and said the pool’s owner was not present that day.
“I am of the opinion that Lynette Dawson never called Mr. Dawson after January 8, 1982,” said Justice Harrison.
“This reinforces other circumstantial evidence leading me to the conclusion that Lynette Dawson did not leave her home voluntarily.”
Judge Ian Harrison found that Dawson showed a “sense of guilt” in making several false statements about the circumstances surrounding Lynette’s disappearance.
The case centered on JC, Dawson’s former student and babysitter, who moved into his family’s Gilwinga Dr. home after Lynette went missing.
In early 1982, JC traveled to South West Rocks to vacation with family and friends.
JC told the court that during a phone call, Dawson told her, “Lyn is gone, she’s not coming back.”
The court heard that days after Lynette’s disappearance, Dawson drove to the NSW Mid North Coast to pick up the young woman and return her to his marital home in Bayview.
However, in his 1991 police interview he stated: “I thought she would go back to her family home, not mine. In the end she came and lived with me because she had nowhere else to go.”
However, Judge Harrison found that Dawson lied about moving in with her family and that JC immediately went to Dr. Gilwinga came, where she resumed her “energetic sexual relationship.”
Judge Harrison also found that Dawson lied about his motivation for traveling to South West Rocks after claiming it was JC who wanted to go.
During Tuesday’s four-and-a-half-hour marathon decision, Judge Harrison also found that Dawson lied about the events at his family home on the evening of January 8, 1982.
In his police interview, Dawson told detectives, “The day before Lyn left, there was an incident at home where she dumped our little … our second daughter on the bed and had a little emotional breakdown in the process.”
But Judge Harrison listed this as one of several lies Dawson told to divert attention from him after he murdered his wife.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11162185/How-Chris-Dawsons-web-lies-unravelled.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 How Chris Dawson’s web of lies was unraveled