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Chris Dawson’s brother insists there is ‘clear evidence’ Lyn wasn’t murdered

Australia

Chris Dawson’s brother insists there is ‘clear evidence’ Lyn wasn’t murdered

Chris Dawson’s brother says there is ‘clear and uncontested evidence’ his wife Lynette was alive long after she disappeared in 1982.

In a statement released after Dawson was arrested on Wednesday, his brother Peter also declared he was confident his sibling was not involved in Lynette’s death. 

‘We are disappointed at the decision of the DPP as there is clear and uncontested evidence that Lyn Dawson was alive long after she left Chris and their daughters,’ Peter Dawson said.  

‘We have no doubt whatsoever that Chris will be found not guilty as he is innocent.’

The couple’s former babysitter has revealed that she will give evidence in court related to Ms Dawson’s alleged murder.

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Chris Dawson (pictured), 70, was arrested by police at the home of his brother Paul, at Biggera Waters on Queensland's Gold Coast, early on Wednesday morning

Chris Dawson (pictured), 70, was arrested by police at the home of his brother Paul, at Biggera Waters on Queensland's Gold Coast, early on Wednesday morning

Chris Dawson (pictured), 70, was arrested by police at the home of his brother Paul, at Biggera Waters on Queensland’s Gold Coast, early on Wednesday morning

Dawson is pictured being led away by officers following his arrest. He later faced Southport Magistrates Court where his application for bail was refused

Dawson is pictured being led away by officers following his arrest. He later faced Southport Magistrates Court where his application for bail was refused

Dawson is pictured being led away by officers following his arrest. He later faced Southport Magistrates Court where his application for bail was refused

Dawson will be extradited to New South Wales, where he will face court in Parramatta, in Sydney's west, on Thursday

Dawson will be extradited to New South Wales, where he will face court in Parramatta, in Sydney's west, on Thursday

Dawson will be extradited to New South Wales, where he will face court in Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, on Thursday

Dawson (left) is set to be charged with the murder of his wife Lynette (right) on Sydney's northern beaches in 1982

Dawson (left) is set to be charged with the murder of his wife Lynette (right) on Sydney's northern beaches in 1982

Dawson (left) is set to be charged with the murder of his wife Lynette (right) on Sydney’s northern beaches in 1982

Mrs Dawson (pictured) disappeared from the couple's family home at Bayview, on Sydney's northern beaches, in 1982

Mrs Dawson (pictured) disappeared from the couple's family home at Bayview, on Sydney's northern beaches, in 1982

Mrs Dawson (pictured) disappeared from the couple’s family home at Bayview, on Sydney’s northern beaches, in 1982

Dawson was arrested by police at the home of his twin brother Paul at Biggera Waters on Queensland’s Gold Coast. 

He will be extradited to New South Wales where he is expected to be charged with his wife’s 1982 murder. 

The 70-year-old’s application for bail was refused when he appeared in Southport Magistrates Court. He will face court in Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, on Thursday. 

Dawson’s former babysitter Bev McNally will give evidence in court, having looked after the couple’s two young daughters at their home in Bayview.

Ms McNally said Dawson’s arrest made for a ‘happy day, but also a sad one’.

‘It feels surreal… His daughters have had their world re-shattered. We have to feel for them too,’ she told the Manly Daily.

Ms McInally said she spoke to Shanelle Dawson, Chris and Lyn’s daughter, on Tuesday night and had texted her on Wednesday morning.

‘She’s coping. She was trying to prepare herself but nothing prepares you for this,’ Ms McNally said. 

The breakthrough arrest came after two people came forward in April and provided statements regarding Mrs Dawson’s death, New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

Commissioner Fuller said the information ‘helped pull pieces of the puzzle together’. 

Mrs Dawson, a mother-of-two, disappeared without a trace from the couple’s family home at Bayview, on Sydney’s northern beaches, on January 9, 1982.

New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller (centre) addressed media on Wednesday after Dawson was arrested in Queensland 

New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller (centre) addressed media on Wednesday after Dawson was arrested in Queensland 

New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller (centre) addressed media on Wednesday after Dawson was arrested in Queensland 

Chris (left) is pictured here with his twin brother Paul (right) Dawson. Chris was arrested at Paul's Gold Coast home 

Chris (left) is pictured here with his twin brother Paul (right) Dawson. Chris was arrested at Paul's Gold Coast home 

Chris (left) is pictured here with his twin brother Paul (right) Dawson. Chris was arrested at Paul’s Gold Coast home 

Dawson's former babysitter Bev McNally (pictured) will give evidence in court, having looked after the couple's two young daughters at their home in Bayview

Dawson's former babysitter Bev McNally (pictured) will give evidence in court, having looked after the couple's two young daughters at their home in Bayview

Dawson’s former babysitter Bev McNally (pictured) will give evidence in court, having looked after the couple’s two young daughters at their home in Bayview

But it was not until six weeks later that Dawson called police to report his wife missing. 

Mrs Dawson’s remains have yet to be found but police say they have solved homicides before without a body. 

‘I’ve said from the start what is important is justice for Lynette Dawson and her family,’ Commissioner Fuller said.

‘Unfortunately, and from our perspective, we would like to have found the body of Lynette Dawson, not just for evidence but for the family, and we certainly will not give up hope. 

‘We have solved homicides before without identifying the body. In this case we will not give up on trying to identify the whereabouts of Lynette Dawson, but from our perspective, it is not crucial to finalising the matter.’  

Dawson ‘came quietly with police’ as he was arrested, Commissioner Fuller said.

Dawson, 70, a schoolteacher, was having an affair with 17-year-old former student Joanne Curtis and is accused of killing his wife to move on with her. She took up the role of mother to Dawson's children Shanelle and Sherryn after Mrs Dawson disappeared

Dawson, 70, a schoolteacher, was having an affair with 17-year-old former student Joanne Curtis and is accused of killing his wife to move on with her. She took up the role of mother to Dawson's children Shanelle and Sherryn after Mrs Dawson disappeared

Dawson, 70, a schoolteacher, was having an affair with 17-year-old former student Joanne Curtis and is accused of killing his wife to move on with her. She took up the role of mother to Dawson’s children Shanelle and Sherryn after Mrs Dawson disappeared

Just days after his wife's disappearance, Dawson - a high school PE teacher - had his former student Joanne Curtis (pictured right) move into their family home. The pair later married and had one child, a daughter Kristen (left)

Just days after his wife's disappearance, Dawson - a high school PE teacher - had his former student Joanne Curtis (pictured right) move into their family home. The pair later married and had one child, a daughter Kristen (left)

Just days after his wife’s disappearance, Dawson – a high school PE teacher – had his former student Joanne Curtis (pictured right) move into their family home. The pair later married and had one child, a daughter Kristen (left)

‘We spoke to the family of Lynette Dawson this morning who were certainly relieved to hear this result,’ he said.

Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said: ‘There are other examples in policing history and history of the courts where people have been convicted of murder without a body’.

‘That may or may not be accepted in this particular case. It is a matter for the court in due course,’ he said.                  

Dawson has always denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance, despite two coroners finding his wife was likely murdered by him.

A recent dig at the family’s former home did not provide any further evidence but police have not given up hope of finding Mrs Dawson’s body. 

In August 1982, Dawson wrote a statement to police detailing their marital history and the steps he took to find Mrs Dawson after she vanished

In August 1982, Dawson wrote a statement to police detailing their marital history and the steps he took to find Mrs Dawson after she vanished

In August 1982, Dawson wrote a statement to police detailing their marital history and the steps he took to find Mrs Dawson after she vanished

Chris Dawson met Lynette Simms when he was at Sydney Boys High and she was at the adjacent Sydney Girls High

Chris Dawson met Lynette Simms when he was at Sydney Boys High and she was at the adjacent Sydney Girls High

Two coroners have found Mr Dawson most likely killed his wife in 1982 but the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute, citing lack of evidence

Two coroners have found Mr Dawson most likely killed his wife in 1982 but the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute, citing lack of evidence

Chris Dawson met Lynette Simms when he was at Sydney Boys High and she was at the adjacent Sydney Girls High. Two coroners have found Mr Dawson most likely killed his wife in 1982 but the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute, citing lack of evidence

Prior to his wife’s disappearance, Dawson and his twin brother had been star players for the Newtown Jets rugby league club. 

Mrs Dawson’s brother Gregg Simms told The Australian he was ‘quite emotional’ after his family was told the news of Dawson’s arrest.

‘We’ve had a cry, we’ve cuddled, we’re just completely over the moon that something has finally happened,’ Mr Simms said.

Just days after his wife’s disappearance, Dawson – a high school PE teacher – had his former student Joanne Curtis move into their family home.

The pair soon began a relationship and eventually married. The couple’s lasted until 1990 and the had one child together, a daughter Kristen.

At two separate inquests in 2001 and 2003 coroners find Mrs Dawson was murdered by a ‘known person’ – Chris Dawson – but he was never charged with any offence 

But despite the multiple inquests, police investigations and the offer of a $100,000 reward for information, Mrs Dawson’s body has never been recovered. 

WHAT HAPPENED TO MOTHER-OF-TWO LYNETTE JOY DAWSON?

1970: Lynette Joy Simms marries footballer Christopher Michael Dawson. They are both 21 and later have two daughters, first Shanelle and then Sherryn

1980: Mr Dawson, who retired from playing rugby league to become a PE teacher, starts affair with 16-year-old pupil Joanne Curtis at Cromer High School on Sydney’s northern beaches

1981: Mr Dawson persuades Mrs Dawson to let Joanne move in to their home to get away from her violent stepfather and finish her Higher School Certificate

December 1981: Mr Dawson and his young lover run away together to Queensland but Ms Curtis changes her mind and they return to Sydney

January 8, 1982: Mrs and Mrs Dawson go to marriage counselling. Mrs Dawson’s mother speaks to her daughter, who is not a big drinker, on the telephone and thinks she sounds ‘sozzled’.

January 9, 1982: Mr Dawson says he dropped his wife at a Mona Vale bus stop so she could go shopping at Chatswood. Mrs Dawson fails to turn up to meet her mother, husband and children at Northbridge Baths. Mr Dawson says his wife rang him and said she needed some time to herself

January 10 or 11, 1982: Mr Dawson picks up Joanne from South West Rocks on the mid north coast of NSW and she moves into his home. He reports his wife missing six weeks later.

1983-85: Mr Dawson divorces his missing wife and marries Joanne. The newlyweds move to Queensland where Joanne has the couple’s daughter Kristen

1990: Mr Dawson and Joanne split up. She moves back to Sydney and urges police to search his old garden for a body

2000: Mrs Dawson’s pink cardigan is found during a police dig on the family’s former property at Bayview

2001 and 2003: Two coroners find that Mrs Dawson was murdered by a ‘known person’ – Chris Dawson – but he is not charged with any offence

2006: An episode of the British TV series Antiques Roadshow is filmed in Padstow, Cornwall. Mr Dawson later claims a woman seen in the background of the episode could be his missing wife

2018: Police prepare another brief for the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions. The Australian launches its podcast, The Teacher’s Pet, about the case

December 5, 2018: Queensland Police arrest Chris Dawson at the home of his twin brother. He is expected to be extradited to NSW and charged with Lyn’s murder. 

Two coroners have recommended charging Dawson with his wife’s murder but the DPP never pursued the case, citing insufficient evidence.

New South Wales Police established a strike force and gave prosecutors a new brief of evidence for a fresh assessment on the case. 

The disappearance of Mrs Dawson has been the subject of a popular podcast by the Australian newspaper called ‘The Teacher’s Pet’. 

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