‘Teacher’s pet’ killer finally found guilty of murdering his wife 40 years ago
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A man "obsessed" with a family baby sitter has finally been found guilty of murdering his wife, 40 years after she mysteriously vanished.
Chris Dawson, 74, was arrested and charged with Lyn Dawson's murder in late 2018 but pleaded not guilty and has always maintained his innocence.
The 33-year-old mother of two vanished without trace on January 8 or 9, 1982 and hasn't resurcfaced since, despite Mr Dawson's defence earmarking several potential sightings.
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The judge rubbished these and sent the former rugby star down, saying that his love for the babysitter known as JC was a driver in his actions.
Justice Ian Harrison said: "I am satisfied that Mr Dawson was obsessed with JC and with the fear of losing her. He decided he would end his marriage and move on with JC."
Chris began an affair with a student at the school, 16-year-old Joanne Curtis before Lynette disappeared.
Between media and spectators, so many people arrived to watch the verdict that a second court room was opened up to accommodate the crowd.
On a tense day, a scuffle between a cameraman and the twins' older brother, Peter, also broke out outside the court.
Chris Dawson had left his home in Queensland to fly to Sydney for the verdict.
He had spent the last seven weeks on bail while Justice Harrison deliberated on his decision.
Lynette Dawson's disappearance was the subject of the popular podcast, The Teacher's Pet, which was played during the lengthy trial.
At one point, the judge even dismissed evidence given by two women who claimed that Dawson was violent towards Lyn.
The judge said the women were influenced by the podcast.
The court heard that Mr Dawson, who was twice JC's age, became utterly infatuated with her and conducted a sexual affair.
He eventually moved her into the family home after Lyn vanished.
However, JC, who became his second wife, told the court repeatedly Mr Dawson had 'groomed' her, then 'installed' her in the house and the marital bed.
She said she became 'a sex slave', as well as housekeeper and mother to his two daughters.
The trial heard two allegations of the accussed suggesting he hire a hitman to kill the mother of his children.
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One of these was by a former Newtown Jets teammate and one by JC.
Friends, colleagues, neighbours and an employee of Lynette Dawson testified that they had witnessed Mr Dawson be violent towards her. Some said they saw her with bruises.
Nephew David Jenkins tweeted last weekend that the work doesn't stop after Mr Dawson's conviction.
"After 40 years, on Tuesday we'll find out whether the evidence against Lyn 's (accused) murderer was strong enough," he said.
"Either way, this isn't over until we have Lyn home."
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