The single reason why the murder case against Chris Dawson is ‘nonsensical’, according to the accused killer teacher’s lawyers
- Murder case against Chris Dawson described as ‘nonsensical’ in court
- The Crown argued he killed missing wife Lynette to be with his teenage lover
- Dawson maintains wife Lynette left their home of own accord in January 1982
- Barrister told court Lynette knew her girls had good home with financial security
Chris Dawson (pictured): His lawyers describe the murder case against him as ‘nonsensical’
Allegations Christopher Michael Dawson executed the perfect crime in killing his wife without a trace while leaving all her belongings at home have been criticised as nonsensical, a court has heard.
At Dawson’s murder trial on Wednesday, barrister Pauline David said it would have been extraordinary if her client planned to kill Lynette Dawson and dispose of her body while forgetting to at least pack a suitcase of her clothes to make it look like she had left.
‘If he has the capacity to not only kill her … and dispose of the body in a very short period of time, it seems nonsensical that one would leave all her clothes intact,’ Ms David told the NSW Supreme Court.
Dawson, now 73, was an honest man who had kept his wife’s belongings in their Bayview, Sydney home exactly as she had left them when she walked out in January 1982, the court heard.
Dawson is accused of murdering his wife because she was an obstacle to his sexual relationship with his then teenage lover and babysitter, known as JC.
Mrs Dawson abandoned the home but left her two daughters with her husband, knowing they would be taken care of, Ms David told the court.
‘She knew that they had a loving father, a good home, there was financial security, and (they were) surrounded by a very loving family on both sides.’
Mrs Dawson was alive until at least 1984 when a final sighting of her was made working as a nurse at Rockcastle Hospital in the Sydney suburb of Curl Curl by former neighbours Jill and Peter Breese, Ms David said.
Justice Ian Harrison questioned her about this alleged sighting, asking why Mrs Dawson would take up work at a hospital a ‘stone’s throw’ from where she previously lived if she wanted to disappear and start a new life.
‘It is a curious thing for someone with her putative desire to stay away from everyone to expose herself to an employment position in the very area where she’s most likely to be identified,’ the judge said.
Mr Dawson (right) allegedly murdered his first wife Lynette Dawson (left) on January 8, 1982
Ms David argued that Mrs Dawson could have been there in a temporary role as an agency nurse and that she may have thought the chances of meeting anyone she knew at the hospital were low.
Claims by Dawson’s brother-in-law Ross Hutcheon that he had spotted Mrs Dawson near Gladesville Hospital in 1982 were also questioned by Justice Harrison.
He pointed out that Lynette Hutcheon did not mention the claimed sighting to Dawson in an intercepted phone call made after she and her husband were interviewed by police in 1999.
‘How could a relative of the deceased not appreciate the significance of a sighting showing (Mrs Dawson) to be alive in an investigation or discussion with detectives who are trying to find out what happened to her?’ the judge asked.
The Hutcheons claim they told police of the sighting in 1999 despite notes taken by detectives failing to mention this.
Ms David attacked the credibility of the police, saying they omitted to report on alleged sightings of Mrs Dawson alive and well after January 1982.
She claimed former detective Damian Loone deliberately misled the investigation and lied to a 2003 inquest into Mrs Dawson’s disappearance because of his fixed view she had been murdered.
Despite these police failures, the barrister said these sightings should be accepted because they were made by people familiar with Mrs Dawson and not strangers.
Chris Dawson is accused of murdering his first wife because she was an obstacle to his sexual relationship with his then teenage lover, known as JC (pictured), the court heard
The court heard on Wednesday that Chris Dawson (pictured with his first Lynette on their wedding day) kept her belongings in their Bayview home exactly as she had left them when she walked out in January 1982
Justice Harrison also grappled with the fact that only one person had come forward with a sighting of Mrs Dawson in recent years despite what he called an avalanche of publicity about the case.
‘The inference that seems to arise … is that you had to be very unobservant not to have your attention drawn to the fact that Lynette Dawson is missing,’ he said.
Ms David submitted that certain people may not have been interested in true crime stories and that Mrs Dawson would now look very different if she was still alive as a 72-year old woman.
The trial continues.
Chris Dawson (pictured) pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and denies any involvement in his wife’s disappearance