Home Australia The phone call at the centre of Chris Dawson’s bid for freedom as wife killer fights murder conviction from his jail cell

The phone call at the centre of Chris Dawson’s bid for freedom as wife killer fights murder conviction from his jail cell

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Former rugby league star Chris Dawson will return to a Sydney pitch on Monday, with an alleged phone call from his wife Lynette on the day of his disappearance playing a central role in his bid to get out of prison.

Former rugby league star Chris Dawson will return to a Sydney court on Monday, with an alleged phone call from his wife Lynette on the day of his disappearance playing a central role in his bid to get out of prison.

Dawson has been in a cell since August 2022, when he was convicted of murdering his wife Lynette, who suddenly disappeared from their Bayview home in January 1982.

The former Newtown Jets rugby league player and Northern Beaches secondary school teacher was sentenced to 24 years in prison, with an 18-year non-parole period, after Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison found him guilty of murder.

Judge Harrison found he killed his wife to be with a young student, who moved into Dawson’s home on Gilwinga Drive in the following days.

Lynette Simms’ body has never been found and she has never contacted her friends or family, including her two children.

Dawson, 75, has maintained his innocence and has appealed against his conviction, arguing that it cannot be proven that Lynette Simms was not alive after Friday, January 8, 1982.

Former rugby league star Chris Dawson will return to a Sydney pitch on Monday, with an alleged phone call from his wife Lynette on the day of his disappearance playing a central role in his bid to get out of prison.

The former Newtown Jets rugby league player and Northern Beaches secondary school teacher was sentenced to 24 years in prison, with an 18-year non-parole period, after Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison found him guilty of murder.

The former Newtown Jets rugby league player and Northern Beaches secondary school teacher was sentenced to 24 years in prison, with an 18-year non-parole period, after Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison found him guilty of murder.

During a police interview in 1991, Dawson told detectives that he dropped his wife off at a Mona Vale bus stop and that she was supposed to meet him that afternoon at Northbridge Baths, where he worked as a part-time lifeguard.

Dawson told police that while he was at work he received a phone call from STD (Interstate) from his wife telling him he needed some time off.

A central element of Dawson’s appeal – which will be heard over three days at the Court of Criminal Appeal starting Monday morning – is his claim that he suffered a “significant forensic disadvantage” due to the almost 40 years between the disappearance of his wife and the matter that is taking place. rehearsal.

During that time evidence was lost and several key witnesses died, including Phillip Day.

Mr Day was present at Northbridge Baths on the afternoon Mrs Simms did not arrive to meet her family.

He gave a statement to police in February 2001 in which he said he saw Dawson being summoned to the pool office and when he returned he said he had received a call from Lynette.

In a ground of appeal, Dawson’s attorneys argue that he suffered a “miscarriage of justice” because Judge Harrison determined beyond a reasonable doubt that he did not receive a phone call from his wife.

His lawyers also argue that Judge Harrison was wrong to conclude that Dawson told several lies that evidenced his “consciousness of guilt.”

Judge Harrison, in his judgment, said that Dawson had lied about his relationship with the young woman, about wanting to resume his relationship with his wife and about receiving phone calls from her after her disappearance.

Dawson has been in a cell since August 2022, when he was convicted of murdering his wife Lynette, who suddenly disappeared from their Bayview home in January 1982.

Dawson has been in a cell since August 2022, when he was convicted of murdering his wife Lynette, who suddenly disappeared from their Bayview home in January 1982.

CHRIS DAWSON During his sentencing, Judge Harrison said the case against Dawson was circumstantial, however he noted that a guilty verdict was the only one. "rational inference" he could draw

CHRIS DAWSON During his sentencing, Judge Harrison said the case against Dawson was circumstantial, however noted that a guilty verdict was the only “rational inference” he could draw.

Her legal team also argues that there was “inadequate” evidence to prove that Mrs Dawson was not alive after January 9, 1982.

During his sentencing, Judge Harrison said the case against Dawson was circumstantial, but noted that a guilty verdict was the only “rational inference” he could draw.

Judge Harrison found Dawson harbored a “possessive infatuation” with his young student, having just weeks before Lynette’s disappearance he had tried unsuccessfully to elope with the teenage nanny to start a new life in Queensland.

Last year, Dawson was also found guilty of a charge of carnal knowledge after a judge found he engaged in sexual activity with one of his students at a Sydney secondary school in 1980.

Judge Sarah Huggett sentenced him to three years in prison with one year added to his non-parole period.

His non-parole period will expire in August 2041, at which time he will be 93 years old.

New “no body, no parole” laws passed by the New South Wales Parliament, dubbed “Lyn’s Law”, mean Dawson will not be granted parole until he reveals where Lynette is buried.

Judge Harrison, in his sentencing comments, noted that Dawson “would probably die in prison” before his non-parole period expired.

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