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Chris Dawson murder trial: Judge points out ‘very, very troubling’ issue as witnesses age

The judge overseeing Christopher Michael Dawson’s murder trial has questioned how to use a multitude of evidence in the case that involved an abusive and abusive marriage.

On Friday, Judge Ian Harrison noted that testimony and statements in the case claimed Lynette Dawson had been seen with bruises or black eyes, but did not really point to who had caused those injuries.

‘In my experience there are no bright lights in this area. It’s all a bit dark and dingy and I might need some help,” he said.

Even when 53 witnesses came forward who said Ms. Dawson had bruises but couldn’t say who caused them, the judge asked what to consider to determine if Dawson was actually the culprit.

“It’s a very, very troubling issue,” he said.

Chris Dawson (left) leaves the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney on Friday.  He pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife in 1982

Chris Dawson (left) leaves the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney on Friday. He pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife in 1982

Lynnette, 33, disappeared from her home in Bayview on Sydney's Northern Beaches

Lynnette, 33, disappeared from her home in Bayview on Sydney’s Northern Beaches

Crown Prosecutor Craig Everson SC dodged the question, saying the judge should instead look at the murder charge and whether the evidence presented proved the elements of this crime.

The prosecution has brought forward a parade of witnesses in the NSW Supreme Court alleging that Dawson tended to act violently or aggressively towards his wife, although this has been disputed in testimonies by family members.

Although a body has never been found, Dawson, now 73, is accused of murdering his wife and disposing of her body in January 1982 so that he could have an unfettered relationship with a woman known as JC, his babysitter and former high school student.

He pleads innocent and denies any involvement in his wife’s disappearance.

Also on Friday, the court heard more evidence of an alleged conversation in which Dawson asked fellow rugby league player Robert Silkman if he knew of anyone to get rid of his wife in 1975.

The discussion allegedly took place on a crowded plane flight from the Gold Coast to Sydney when Silkman sat next to friend Ray Lee.

Silkman, who has a number of convictions for theft and one for arson, previously gave evidence of the conversation.

He claims Dawson spoke to him while kneeling in the aisle of the plane after the Newtown Jets’ Gold Coast vacation, where they had seen Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in the fight billed as the Thrilla in Manila.

Mr. Lee, born in 1955, said Friday that he could not recall the alleged discussion, despite Silkman claiming he was sitting next to him at the time, but said he would discuss the subject later, when he was in his twenties. friend discussed.

Dawson’s attorney Greg Walsh suggested that a conversation where someone asks if he’s getting rid of his wife would be something you’d never forget.

“Yeah, you’d think so,” Mr. Lee replied.

Dawson, 73, is accused of murdering his wife Lynette and disposing of her body in January 1982 so that he could have an unfettered relationship with a woman known as JC, his babysitter and former high school student.

Dawson, 73, is accused of murdering his wife Lynette and disposing of her body in January 1982 so that he could have an unfettered relationship with a woman known as JC, his babysitter and former high school student.

The court also heard Friday that a witness could not recall hearing Dawson ask if he knew anyone who could

The court also heard Friday that a witness could not recall hearing Dawson ask if he knew anyone who could “get rid of” Lynette.

Detective Senior Constable Mark O’Reilly met security guard Silkman while they were both working at the Qudos Bank Arena. He told the court that Silkman told him about the alleged plane conversation in September 2018.

He said he never discussed the subject of a reward for information, which amounted to $200,000 in January 2014, with Silkman.

Silkman was previously accused by Dawson’s legal counsel of fabricating the story in order to receive the reward money.

Mr. Lee admitted Silkman was a villain, but denied suggestions that his friend was a “big-noter,” or someone who exaggerates their stories.

Author Rebecca Hazel returned to the witness stand Friday afternoon and examined interviews she had conducted with former Detective Damian Loone in 2012.

In those interviews, Mr Loone, who investigated Ms Dawson’s disappearance from 1998 to 2015, said that after speaking with JC, he was sure Dawson was a murderer and that his instincts were never wrong.

“As I get older, I’m more determined. Everyone knows me. Everyone knows I’m after him,” she quoted him as saying.

In February 2019, Ms. Hazel published a book about Chris and Lynette Dawson and JC entitled The Schoolgirl, Her Teacher And His Wife.

The trial continues on Monday.

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