Police charge Chris Dawson over wife's alleged murder

Elias Hubbard
December 6, 2018

The husband of Sydney mother Lynette Dawson, who disappeared nearly 40 years ago has arrived in Sydney where he will be charged with her murder.

Mr Dawson told Lynette's family she needed time away and did not report her missing to police for nearly six weeks.

An Australian whose life was laid bare in a popular crime mystery podcast about the disappearance of his wife almost 40 years ago was arrested Wednesday.

A NSW Police statement said: "he has been charged with murder and refused bail to appear at Central Local Court [on Thursday]".

His arrest followed the case's re-examination in the global podcast phenomenon, the Teacher's Pet.

Officers were today expected to extradite him to Sydney, where he will be charged with the murder.

The new evidence helped police "tie pieces of the puzzle together", NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said yesterday.

"One of the things that concerns me, is this man, Chris Dawson, is entitled to the presumption of innocence".

Lynette Dawson was 33-years-old when she vanished from the couple's Bayview home on or around Saturday 9 January 1982.

Ms Dawson's sister-in-law, Merilyn Sims, said the family had been overwhelmed by support after being phoned by detectives with news of the arrest.

Mrs Dawson's niece Renee Simms said the events of the past few days don't seem real yet.

He appeared in Southport Magistrates Court and made an application for bail, which was denied by Magistrate Dennis Kinsella, who said there was an unacceptable risk of failing to appear.

"Absolute relief. My dad was elated", she told Nine Network on Thursday.

Following the arrest on Wednesday, Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Scott Cook, praised the work of Strike Force Scriven investigators.

Despite two coronial inquests recommending Chris be prosecuted for murder, the DPP stated at the time there was insufficient evidence to lay charges. "Statements from witnesses helped us tie pieces of the puzzle together".

Fuller said detectives had spoken to Lyn Dawson's family on Wednesday and they "were certainly relieved to hear this result".

Mr Walsh also cited the "extraordinary amount of publicity" around the case and "inadequacies" in the police investigation.

"There are other examples in policing history and history of the courts where people have been convicted of murder without a body", he told reporters.

No trace of Mrs Dawson has ever been found since she vanished from her Sydney home 36 years ago.

A relative, David Jenkins, tweeted: "I'm shaking".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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