Wife killer Chris Dawson has had a year added to his already lengthy prison sentence for engaging in illegal sexual activity with an underage student.
Dawson appeared in Sydney’s Downing Center District Court on Friday for sentencing after being found guilty earlier this year of one count of carnal knowledge.
Dressed in prison clothes, Dawson, 75, appeared via video link from Long Bay Prison in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
“I can hear you, yes I can,” he told the court as he appeared on screen.
The former Newtown Jets star and teacher has already been told he can expect to die in prison after being sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison for the murder of his wife Lynette in early 1982.
Judge Sarah Huggett on Friday sentenced Dawson to a further three years in prison for his carnal knowledge.
He effectively had a year added to his non-parole period, meaning he won’t be eligible for release until August 2041.
In June, Judge Huggett found Dawson guilty of engaging in sexual acts with a then 16-year-old student, who can only be known as AB, while she was in his education class 11th grade physics.
Chris Dawson had already been sentenced to at least 18 years in prison
He had pleaded not guilty and maintained that their first sexual contact did not take place until the following year, when she was in 12th grade.
However, Judge Huggett accepted AB’s evidence that she had been “groomed” by Dawson in the playground before they first engaged in sexual activity at her parents’ house, in Maroubra, in the second half of the 1980s.
“I was told to keep it a secret,” AB said in his court testimony.
Dawson filed a notice of intent to appeal his conviction.
The court has previously heard that AB had a tumultuous home life, marked by alcohol abuse, and at one point considered Dawson a mentor and trusted adult.
She told the court that Dawson told her he had deliberately changed the class role so that she was in his year 11 class.
“The Crown highlights what is presented as grooming and exploitation of the victim’s vulnerability,” Crown prosecutor Emma Blizard told the court on Friday.
Defense barrister Claire Wasley argued that given AB was 16, which is in the upper age bracket for the offence, this should have a bearing on the objective seriousness of the offense. Dawson offense.
Judge Huggett found that AB’s allegations were supported by “a large body of independent evidence”.
AB testified that Dawson left “hundreds” of love notes in her school bag and gave her cards on special occasions.
One card, dated Christmas 1980, said “once or twice a minute” and was signed “God.”
A card given to AB by Chris Dawson at Christmas 1980. Photo: Supplied
A card given to AB by Chris Dawson. Photo: Supplied.
AB told the court the reference to “God” was an attempt to disguise himself because he knew she was 16.
In another card dated 1981, Dawson wrote: “To the most beautiful girl in the world on her 17th birthday, knowing that we will share all the birthdays to come, all my love.” »
The court also read an extract from her Grade 11 report card in which Dawson wrote that she was “a joy to teach.”
“(AB) worked well in class and made valuable contributions to the discussions. Very pleasant personality, a pleasure to teach,” Dawson wrote on the newsletter.
During his testimony, AB claimed that “teaching pleasure” was a double entender, referring to their sexual activities.
“He was referring to the lessons I learned during sexual activity that he taught me,” AB said.
Chris Dawson with his wife Lynette
A man who worked in the same supermarket as AB when he was a teenager told the court he was threatened by Dawson in a dark car park in 1980.
The man told the court that at the time he had a crush on her and asked her out on several occasions.
He said he was working Saturday morning when he was approached by Dawson while he was collecting carts from the parking lot.
He said Dawson came “out of the shadows” and pressed him against a concrete railing and warned him with words such as: “Stay away from her, don’t go near her.”
Dawson was convicted last year of murdering his wife Lynette, who disappeared from their home in Bayview, on Sydney’s northern beaches, in January 1982.
Judge Ian Harrison sentenced Dawson to 24 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 18 years which will expire on August 29, 2040.