Woman describes ‘creepy’ Dawson twins – and murder trial hears Lyn ‘sighted’ on Princess Diana tour
A woman who encountered accused wife killer Chris Dawson and his brother Paul at a party in 2007 has described the twins as having a ‘creepy’ closeness.
Fay Sinclair, a witness at Dawson’s trial where he accused of murdering his wife Lyn, told the court he would always check with his older twin Paul before speaking.
The trial also heard on Monday about an alleged sighting of Lyn Dawson during the 1983 royal tour of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, plus a threat by schoolgirl babysitter JC ‘to get rid of’ Lynette.
Christopher Michael Dawson, 73, is accused of murdering his wife and disposing of her body in January 1982 so he could have an unfettered relationship with the babysitter. He has pleaded not guilty.
Ms Sinclair said she was attending a ‘living wake’ of Phil Day, who was dying of cancer, and attended by his former schoolmates and Sydney Boys High School prefects, which included her husband John and the Dawson twins.
The witness said she was discussing her failed first marriage with Chris Dawson, and asked if he’d had one. He replied that ‘his wife had left him to join a commune or something like that in the Blue Mountains’.
A woman who met Chris Dawson at a party in 2007 said she found the closeness between Chris Dawson and his older twin, Paul Dawson (the twins pictured above) ‘creepy’ and she felt Chris relied on Paul to approve what he was saying about Lyn going to a Blue Mountains commune
A Newtown Jets fan and close friend of Chris Dawson said she believed she sighted Lyn Dawson moments before meeting Prince Charles and Princess Diana in Sydney on March 28, 1983 (above) when the royals drove up Macquarie Street
She said at that point, Chris’s twin brother Paul ‘had come over and and sat next to him very close’ and then she asked if they had children.
When he replied they had, she asked ‘what sort of mother would leave her children?’
She said Chris didn’t respond except ‘he looked at his brother’ and it was Paul who responded and ‘said something along the lines of “she was a little bit crazy”‘.
Ms Sinclair explained she was a recruiter who’d interviewed thousands of job candidates and she assessed the body language between the twins as ‘creepy… probably how close they were sitting to one another’.
‘My interpretation was that Chris was looking to Paul to confirm what he was going to say was okay,’ she said under cross-examination by Chris Dawson’s lawyer, Greg Walsh, on Monday.
‘I think Chris was checking with his older twin that what he was saying was the right thing.’
The murder trial in the NSW Supreme Court was shown a video of a 2018 appearance by Elva McBay via video link at a Local Court hearing, and footage of a 1983 royal tour of Sydney by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Fay Sinclair said Chris and Paul Dawson were unusually close and that she found that ‘creepy’ after meeting them together at a ‘living wake’ for one of the twins fellow former Sydney Boys High School classmates
Elva McBay, a Newtown Jets fan since she was a toddler in 1922, said she became friends with both twins, Chris and Paul Dawson and after Lyn vanished thought she saw her running in front of Princess Di and Prince Charles’ car a year later
Ms McBay, aged about 99 in the 2018 court appearance, was a fan of the Newtown Jets rugby league team, formerly the ‘Blue Bags’, since she was three in about 1922.
She met Paul Dawson when he was a schoolteacher at Kogarah High School and become a close family friend of both Paul and Chris Dawson and their wives after the twins started playing for her beloved Newtown Jets.
Ms McBay described a sighting of Lynette Dawson more than a year after Lyn vanished, just as the royals drove up Macquarie Street and her husband met Prince Charles.
She was right at the front of the barrier outside Sydney Hospital on March 28, 1983, when ‘a lady came from behind, I think she came from the hospital… about the time Charles and Diana approached us.
‘She was hurrying and she pushed in about six or eight people further along from me and ducked under barricade and the motorbike police were almost up to us when it happened,’ she said.
‘She turned quickly end to look where the procession was and I saw her face for a few seconds, ran straight in front of motorcycles.
‘I said to my husband, “I think that’s Lyn Dawson”. I must have seen the lady’s face and cannot remember. At some stage, I told Paul and Chris about seeing the lady I thought was Lyn.’
Lynette Dawson was ‘trembling and crying’ at the fourth birthday party of her elder daughter after a row with the babysitter JC who Lyn told her had threatend ‘to get rid of’ Lyn
At the fourth birthday party of the Dawsons’ elder daughter in 1981, Mrs McBay said she found Lyn crying after an argument with the babysitter JC (above, with Chris Dawson) who Lyn said had threatened ‘to get rid of her’
Ms McBay said six months before Lyn Dawson disappeared, in July 1981, she had attended the fourth birthday party of Lyn and Chris’s elder daughter.
It was about midday and when Ms McBay went into the kitchen, she found Lyn in tears after having an argument with the teenage girl babysitter who had moved into the family’s Bayview home.
‘She was distraught, she was crying, she was trembling. I had never seen her in such a state, ever.
‘I said “what’s wrong Lyn”. She said “I had the most dreadful row with (JC) this morning, she wants to get rid of me”.
‘I said “oh Lyn you can’t be hurt by this, you should get her out of the house before there’s any more trouble” and she said “my mother has said the same thing”.
‘She was getting the party ready so I stayed for a little while in the kitchen and then went back to the kiddies.’
Mrs McBay said she had ‘heard they’d taken a little girl from the school’ and she did not approve and ‘thought it was very strange’.
The Newtown Jet s fan Elva McBay who befriended the Dawson twins and their wives described the accused as ‘placid, good fun, an absolutely wonderful father and husband (who) adored his children and Lyn’ (above Lyn and Chris together)
Mrs McBay said she became close friends with the Dawson twins (above, in the back row) when they were recruited to play for her beloved Newtown Jets of which she was a lifelong fan
‘I said if she upsets you as much as this Lyn, you should get her out of the house, her mother had said the same thing,’ she told the court.
Under questioning from Mr Dawson’s barrister at the 2018 hearing, Phillip Boulten, SC, Ms McBay said she had ‘no recollection’ that Lynette had told her JC ‘threatened to kill her’.
But Ms McBay agreed that a handwritten statement – in which, Mr Boulten said, she did say that – had a signature on the bottom which she could just make out with the aid of a magnifying glass as her own.
She described Chris Dawson as ‘very quiet, very placid, good fun, an absolutely wonderful father and husband (who) adored his children and Lyn’.
Legendary former detective Ian ‘Speed’ Kennedy testified on Wednesday about an allegation that he told Chris Dawson in the 1980s that Lyn was well and living in New Zealand.
Mr Kennedy – whose 35 year career in the NSW Police notably included arresting the men who murdered beauty queen and nurse Anita Cobby in 1986 – was in the same class at Sydney Boy High as the Dawson twins, who graduated in 1965.
Mr Kennedy was told about a claim Chris Dawson made to detectives investigating Lyn Dawson’s disappearance.
Legendary detective Ian ‘Speed’ Kennedy (above at the scene of the crime with one of the Anita Cobby killers, Michael Murdoch, in 1986) denied ever telling Chris Dawson he had knowledge of Lyn Dawson living in New Zealand
Chris Dawson told police Mr Kennedy told him at a 1985 Sydney Boys High School reunion that he (Kennedy) had established that Lyn was living in New Zealand and was well.
In a 1991 video recorded police interview, played during the trial, detectives challenged Dawson about this, saying Mr Kennedy denied ever telling Dawson this.
In that interview, Dawson counters this by suggesting the detective may have been too drunk to remember their conversation.
Asked about this on Monday, Mr Kennedy said he never had any information about the Lynette Dawson case, and if he had there would be a record of it.
He denied having the conversation with Chris Dawson at the reunion.
As to the suggestion of being too drunk at the event to remember, he said: ‘I dispute being affected by alcohol… I had nothing to do with any inquiry into Lyn Dawson’.
The murder trial began in early May and is into its sixth week, with the Crown case due to finish either on Friday or early next week.
The Crown’s witnesses have attempted to paint Dawson as a violent, controlling, and abusive husband, with testimony emerging that Ms Dawson was seen variously with a black eye, and bruises around her throat and on her arms and thigh.
Witnesses said they saw him shove his wife’s face into the dirt, swing her into a doorframe, and demean her with insults such as ‘fatso’.
Dawson’s defence case is that Lyn left their marriage of her own accord and abandoned her two young daughters, then aged four and two.
His legal team argued the witnesses’ testimony was contaminated because they talked about the case with each other and listened to The Teacher’s Pet podcast about the case, arguing it was broadcast with an assumption that her husband was guilty.
They also argued police failed to probably investigate the possibility Lyn Dawson is still alive, and had tunnel vision about Chris Dawson’s alleged guilt.
Dawson claims JC’s allegations are lies spurred by a bitter custody battle after their 1990 break-up.