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How Chris Dawson’s Web of Lies Was Unraveled

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Chris Dawson lied about getting several calls from his wife in the days and weeks after she went missing, amid an attempt to divert attention over her murder, a judge has found.

The former Newtown Jets rugby player and teacher is in jail Tuesday night after being convicted by Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison of murdering his wife Lynette and disposing of her body in 1982.

After a trial-only trial earlier this year, Judge Harrison found that Dawson lied for four decades to cover up the murder of Lynette, who disappeared without ever speaking to her family, children, friends and colleagues.

At his trial, Mr Dawson alleged that Lynette voluntarily ran away from their idyllic existence on Sydney’s northern beaches.

Chris Dawson was found guilty of the murder of Lynette Dawson on Tuesday. Image: NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard

Lynette Dawson was murdered by her husband Chris Dawson, a judge has found. Image: delivered.

Lynette Dawson was murdered by her husband Chris Dawson, a judge has found. Image: delivered.

However, Justice Harrison found that evidence of her strong connection to her children “completely contradicted the proposition” that she voluntarily left her home.

He also thought it was unlikely she would have left without even a change of underwear.

One of the main points of Dawson’s defense was his claim that Lynette had contacted him several times after she disappeared.

In his 1991 Queensland police questioning, Dawson admitted that it was “extremely odd” that she had only contacted him and not her family or friends.

According to Dawson’s version of events, on the afternoon of January 9, 1982, he first received a call from Lynette in the Northbridge Baths.

Justice Ian Harrison discovered that Chris Dawson had made several false claims. Image: Sky News

Justice Ian Harrison discovered that Chris Dawson had made several false claims. Image: Sky News

Chris Dawson and JC on their wedding day, two years after Lynette Dawson disappeared. Image: Included

Chris Dawson and JC on their wedding day, two years after Lynette Dawson disappeared. Image: Included

He claimed he dropped her off at a bus stop in Mona Vale earlier that day before calling him at his part-time job as a lifeguard to say she needed time.

“Over the next few weeks, I got similar calls from Lyn, more STD calls saying she needed extra time,” Dawson told police in his 1991 interview.

But Judge Ian Harrison described Dawson’s descriptions of the calls as “lack of context” and “pregnant with cliché.”

He also said it is doubtful that a woman who had decided to flee her home would only contact the man responsible for her departure.

He said Mr Dawson’s report of receiving a phone call in the Northbridge Baths on the afternoon of 9 January 1982 was a ‘lie’.

He said his version of events was contradicted by the diary of a girl who worked in the pools, who said the owner of the pool was not present that day.

“I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Lynette Dawson never called Mr. Dawson after January 8, 1982,” Judge Harrison said.

“That reinforces other circumstantial evidence leading me to conclude that Lynette Dawson did not voluntarily leave her home.”

Justice Ian Harrison found that Dawson showed a “consciousness of guilt” by making several false statements about the circumstances surrounding Lynette’s disappearance.

At the center of the case was JC, Dawson’s former student and babysitter, who moved into his family’s Gilwinga Dr. home after Lynette went missing.

In early 1982, JC traveled to South West Rocks to vacation with family and friends.

JC told the court that during a phone call, Dawson told her, “Lyn’s gone, she’s not coming back.”

The court heard that days after Lynette disappeared, Dawson drove to the NSW Mid North Coast to pick up the young woman and return her to his conjugal home in Bayview.

In his police interrogation in 1991, however, he stated, “I thought she would return to her childhood home, not my home. She eventually came to live with me because she was not wanted anywhere else.”

However, Justice Harrison discovered that Dawson lied about moving in with her family and that JC immediately arrived at Gilwinga Dr, where they resumed their “energetic sexual relationship.”

Justice Harrison also found that Dawson lied about his motivation to travel to South West Rocks, claiming it was JC who wanted to leave.

During his four-and-a-half-hour marathon decision on Tuesday, Judge Harrison also discovered that Dawson was lying about the events at his childhood home on the evening of January 8, 1982.

In his police interrogation, Dawson told the detectives, “The day before Lyn left, there was an incident at home where she threw our little … our second daughter on the bed and had a bit of an emotional breakdown at the time.”

But Judge Harrison listed that as one of the many lies Dawson told in an attempt to divert attention from the fact that he killed his wife.

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