‘Down with his wife’: Chris Dawson’s teammate’s bomb claim
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‘Down with his wife’: Chris Dawson’s teammate’s bomb claim

One of Chris Dawson’s former Newtown Jets teammates says the ex-teacher approached him during a late-season trip to ask if he knew anyone who could “get rid of” his wife, a court has said.

Chris Dawson, 73, is on trial before the NSW Supreme Court, charged with the murder of his wife Lynette, who disappeared from their home on Sydney’s northern beaches 40 years ago.

'Down with his wife': Chris Dawson's teammate's bomb claim

Dawson has pleaded not guilty, arguing that he had no motivation to kill Mrs. Dawson, who went missing from their Bayview home in January 1982.

On Thursday, Robert Silkman told the court that more than six years before Ms. Dawson disappeared, Mr. Dawson approached him on a plane after a team outing on the Gold Coast.

“I was sitting there, and Chris came over and knelt on my level where I was sitting and asked if I knew anyone who could get rid of his wife,” Mr. Silkman told the court.

Camera IconChris Dawson faces trial in the NSW Supreme Court. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp AustraliaCamera IconA footy card featuring Chris Dawson from his playing days with the Newtown Jets. Credit: Included

Mr. Silkman said the incident occurred in October 1975 after a late-season trip where they stayed at a hotel on Cavill Ave.

“Well, I was surprised,” said Mr. Silkman.

“I said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘Forever?’ He said, ‘Yes’.

‘I said, ‘Look, I’ll talk to you when I get back to Sydney’. That was the end of the conversation.”

Mr. Silkman told the court that he has had no further talks with Mr. Dawson.

Silkman told the court on Wednesday that he was friends with his Newtown Jets teammate Paul Hayward, the brother-in-law of notorious criminal Arthur “Neddy” Smith.

Camera IconNeddy Smith died in prison last year. Bill Counsell/Newspix Credit: Included

Smith, a convicted murderer, drug trafficker, and armed robber, died last year after spending most of his life in prison.

Mr. Silkman said he had become acquainted with Smith after drinking with him at a hotel next door to Hayward, who was arrested in Thailand in 1978 for attempting to smuggle heroin into Australia.

“Yes, I didn’t actually drink with (Smith); I drank with Paul Hayward, who took me to the hotel with him,” Mr. Silkman told the court.

“Neddy Smith was in the company.”

Camera IconLynette Dawson, with Chris Dawson on their wedding day, disappeared in 1982. Credit provided: News Corp AustraliaCamera IconChris Dawson and JC are on their wedding day. Delivered Credit: Delivered

Mr. Dawson’s attorney Pauline David talked about Mr. Silkman’s criminal past and described him as someone who would lie if he saw “a dollar” in it.

“You have a very loose relationship with the truth,” said Ms. David.

“That’s not right,” said Mr. Silkman.

She also wondered why Mr. Dawson would wait until he was on a crowded plane to approach Mr. Silkman and not before during their time on the Gold Coast.

The Crown prosecutor alleges that Mr. Dawson killed his wife and disposed of her body so he could be with a teenage ex-student and babysitter, JC.

Dawson and JC married in 1984 before a bitter divorce in 1990.

Dawson has argued that Ms. Dawson called him multiple times since she was last seen, and she has been seen by extended family members and friends ever since.

The process continues.