Chris Dawson returns to Sydney in the present day for the beginning of what’s going to turn into of Australia’s most sensational court docket circumstances.
The 70-year-old former Newtown Jets rugby league participant is predicted to be charged with the homicide of his spouse Lyn, who vanished from the household house on Sydney’s northern seashores in January 1982.
Mr Dawson was in a relationship with one in all his college students Joanne Curtis, 16, on the time Lyn, then aged 33, disappeared. Curtis moved into the household house two days after Lyn went lacking.
He has all the time denied any involvement together with his spouse’s demise and his household mentioned in an announcement they anticipated him to be discovered not responsible.
However his arrest yesterday on the Gold Coast was a sudden growth of case that has by no means been removed from the headlines throughout the 37 years which have handed since Lyn’s disappearance.
In current months it has captivated the world after The Australian’s investigative podcast sequence The Trainer’s Pet, for which reporter Hedley Thomas and producer Slade Gibson received the Gold Walkley, Australian journalism’s highest honour.
Trainer’s Pet, which topped obtain charts around the globe, uncovered two new witness statements police have indicated can be a part of their temporary of proof.
The Australian in the present day revealed key witnesses that type a part of the police case embody Curtis and a former northern seashores schoolgirl who saved diaries from the time she knew Curtis and Mr Dawson.
The unnamed lady reportedly met with detectives in current weeks.
Curtis has given new data to investigators that led on to Mr Dawson’s arrest, The Each day Telegraph reported.
It additionally emerged final evening the previous babysitter for Chris and Lyn Dawson was a brand new witness who could also be known as to offer proof.
Bev McNally instructed The Manly Each day the arrest “feels surreal”.
“It’s a blissful day and a tragic one. Folks should do not forget that as effectively.”
The couple’s older daughter Shanelle had tried to brace herself and was “coping”.
“She was attempting to arrange herself however nothing prepares you for this,” McNally mentioned.
The daughter of Mr Dawson and Curtis, Kristen Dawson, instructed the Each day Mail “It is a actually arduous time for us in the mean time” however wouldn’t remark additional.
Her physique has by no means been discovered and two coronial inquests, between 2001-2003, discovered Ms Dawson was murdered by her husband. However he was not charged, with the NSW DPP ruling there was inadequate proof.
Mr Dawson confirmed no emotion when he appeared in Southport Magistrates Court docket after being arrested at Biggera Waters on the northern Gold Coast.
Barefoot and sporting a crumpled khaki T-shirt and inexperienced shorts, he sat quietly within the dock together with his head bowed, solely sometimes wanting up at Justice of the Peace Dennis Kinsella.
He had his head in his palms because the Justice of the Peace learn out the police case, together with allegations of home violence in opposition to his spouse.
Mr Dawson can be charged with homicide by NSW police, and bail was opposed by Queensland police due to the seriousness of the alleged offence, the court docket heard.
By his responsibility lawyer, Mr Dawson tried to acquire bail so he may voluntarily go to New South Wales in the present day to face court docket.
He insisted he wasn’t a flight threat and understood the allegations had been critical – however the Justice of the Peace dominated in favour of police, and Mr Dawson spent final evening at Southport Watchhouse awaiting his extradition to NSW.
Numerous airways mentioned they had been reluctant to hold Mr Dawson as a consequence of his excessive profile and the potential of it changing into a safety threat.
Police are reportedly wanting into chartering their very own flight to get Mr Dawson again to NSW.
“The essence of the case in opposition to him is a circumstantial case through which his spouse is unable to be positioned,” Kinsella mentioned, including it was principally a “chilly case homicide”.
Police will allege Mr Dawson wished to go away his spouse, was having an affair, and that there have been “excellent property points”.
The Justice of the Peace mentioned the crown alleged home violence allegations in opposition to Mr Dawson can be raised in proof, in addition to proof from the lady concerned within the affair — Mr Dawson’s former pupil Joanne Curtis.
In April NSW Police requested the Director of Public Prosecutions if there was sufficient proof to cost Dawson. Since then murder squad detectives had gathered new proof and it’s thought the police case will partially depend on two witness statements uncovered by Academics Pet.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller mentioned the temporary of proof would rely totally on data found by police, however confirmed media curiosity within the case had resulted in new proof.
“It’s my understanding two further statements had been the work of the media,” he mentioned.
That proof got here within the type of two further witness statements described as “corroborative, not essential” by the top of the Murder Squad, Detective Superintendent Scott Cook dinner.
Cook dinner mentioned Mr Dawson was “calm and little bit greatly surprised” as he was arrested, however went with officers quietly.
Cook dinner instructed reporters detectives had been “assured” about their case in opposition to Mr Dawson regardless of not figuring out the place Lyn’s physique was.
“There are different examples in policing historical past and historical past of the courts the place individuals have been convicted of homicide and not using a physique,” he mentioned.
“Which will or is probably not accepted on this explicit case. It’s a matter for the court docket in the end. We’ve got solved murder earlier than with out figuring out the physique.
“Ideally on this case we is not going to quit on attempting to establish the whereabouts of Lynette Dawson, however from our perspective, it’s not essential to finalising the matter.
He then added: “We have not given up hope by way of discovering Lynette Dawson’s physique.”
Mr Dawson’s household launched an announcement yesterday, insisting he can be discovered not responsible.
“We’re disillusioned on the determination of the DPP as there’s clear and uncontested proof that Lyn Dawson was alive lengthy after she left Chris and their daughters,” the assertion, from Chris’ twin brother Peter mentioned.
“We’ve got little question by any means that Chris shall be discovered not responsible as he’s harmless.”
“We had been hopeful this time and we have got there”
Lyn’s household reacted with shock and aid.
“I am shaking,” her nephew David Jenkins wrote on Twitter .
“There’s a lengthy street in entrance of us in bringing Lyn house, however this can be a huge step.”
Lyn’s brother Gregg Simms mentioned he was “fairly emotional” when he heard of Mr Dawson’s arrest this morning.
“We have had a cry, we have cuddled, we’re simply fully over the moon that one thing has lastly occurred,” he instructed The Australian.
Chatting with A Present Affair final evening, Simms mentioned he was “shocked” by in the present day’s growth however was staying hopeful.
“In case you look again through the years, you may say we have been kicked within the guts just a few occasions however we had been hopeful this time and we have got there,” he mentioned.