Tuesday, 21 May, 2019


Husband of missing woman Lynette Dawson arrested on the Gold Coast

Sydney couple Chris Dawson and Lyn Dawson married in 1970 when they were both 21 years old. Image The Teacher's Pet Sydney couple Chris Dawson and Lyn Dawson married in 1970 when they were both 21 years old. Image The Teacher's Pet
Bennie Garza | 05 December, 2018, 17:25

Chris Dawson, 70, is to be charged with murdering Lynette Dawson, New South Wales (NSW) authorities said.

The podcast on the case, Teacher's Pet, has had millions of downloads and recently won The Australian's Hedley Thomas and Slade Gibson a Gold Walkley.

The 36-year-old mystery concerns the disappearance of Lyn Dawson from her home on the Northern Beaches of Sydney in January 1982.

The former Newtown Jets rugby league player, who is at the centre of the popular Teacher's Pet podcast, appeared in Southport Magistrates Court today with his head bowed, wearing a t-shirt, shorts and bare feet.

Just before 8am (local time) on Wednesday, Dawson was arrested by Queensland Police detectives in the presence of Strike Force Scriven investigators at Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast.

Lynette Dawson's family have been made aware of the arrest and police will address Sydney journalists on Wednesday.

Police will use previous interviews they had conducted with Mr Dawson since his wife's disappearance as evidence in the case.

Nearly 40 years after Sydney mother Lynette Dawson disappeared, her husband spent his first night in police custody accused of her murder.

"I have said from the start, what is important to me was just as important for Lynette Dawson and her family", he said.

Police at the former home of Lynette Dawson in Bayview. Image AAP
Police at the former home of Lynette Dawson in Bayview. Image AAP

He is expected to be placed on a plane to NSW early on Thursday morning where detectives will begin the lengthy process of charging him with murder before he is brought before a court.

An inquest in 2003 found that Mr Dawson, a former high school teacher and rugby league star, had engaged in sexual relationships with teenage students during his marriage.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told reporters in Sydney that new evidence, including "statements from witnesses that helped us tie the pieces of the puzzle together", lead the Department of Public Prosecutions to seek Dawson's arrest this week.

In a statement, the Dawson family said it was disappointed.

"A team of dedicated detectives has been investigating this case over the past three years", Det Supt Cook said. "Certainly we have solved homicide cases before without identifying the body", he said.

Commissioner Fuller says they won't give up on trying to identify Lyn's whereabouts but locating her remains isn't crucial to finalising the matter.

The Commander of the NSW Homicide Squad, Detective Superintendent Scott Cook, said Mr Dawson was "calm" but "taken aback" when he was taken into custody.

Fuller said two additional witnesses have come forward since April.

"We haven't given up hope in terms of finding Lynette Dawson's body".

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