Chris Dawson labeled allegations of domestic violence and a hit man “bulls**t” fabricated by his former wife and babysitter in phone calls intercepted by police, a court has told.
The Crown Prosecutor closed the case Thursday morning in the murder trial of Dawson, who had pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife Lynette in early 1982.
“That is the case for the Crown,” Crown Prosecutor Craig Everson told the court.
The Crown prosecutor has alleged that Dawson had animosity towards his wife and killed her so that he could be with a then-teenage college student and babysitter, who can only be known as JC.
JC made several serious allegations against him during her testimony, including his use of physical violence during their six-year marriage before they split in painful circumstances in 1990.
She told the court that he drove her to a building in 1981 where she stayed in the car, and when he returned, he told her, “I went in to have a hit man kill Lyn”.
Camera icon Chris Dawson has argued that his wife Lynette left their home 40 years ago. Credit: News Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire/Gaye Gerard
According to JC, Dawson has changed his mind because he said other people would get hurt.
During telephone conversations captured during the tapping of police telephones in 2018 — just months before he was arrested — Mr. Dawson said JC had made up the allegations during a bitter divorce more than 30 years ago.
“Then (JC) came up with all this nonsense. I would have driven her to see a hit man, I would have been an abusive husband, she must have been a prisoner locked up in our house on the Gold Coast,” he said. Dawson to a friend in a phone call played out in court on Thursday.
“She had her own car and electrical device to open the gate. It was a wire mesh fence.
“She went everywhere she wanted but said she was this prisoner.”
Mr. Dawson was heard to say that JC was indifferent to the two daughters he had with Mrs. Dawson.
“She made their scalps bleed when she brushed their hair, but I’d be the vile one she had to escape,” Mr. Dawson said in a conversation with a relative.
Camera IconChris and Lynette Dawson on their wedding day. Credit provided: News Corp Australia
He also attacked the credibility of another former nanny who claims she witnessed Mr. Dawson being physically abusive towards Mrs. Dawson.
The woman, known only as BM, told the court during her testimony that she witnessed an incident where she saw Mr. Dawson grab Mrs. Dawson by the arm and wave her at a door frame like a “ragdoll”.
BM also told the court of a separate incident in the early 1980s when she said Mr. Dawson brought his wife to tears by tapping her with a tea towel after being angered by a dirty glass.
BM also made statements in the media in 2018.
Dawson told a relative during a phone call that BM was influenced by Hedley Thomas, the journalist who wrote The Teacher’s Pet podcast.
“This babysitter has babysat us twice,” Mr. Dawson said.
“A few experts said I had this dark side and the rest.
“They all use the same words – they are very well prepared by this goddamn Hedley Thomas.
“They all say I was narcissistic; I have a dark side that nobody knew about. It’s all about selling his fucking podcast.”
Dawson told the same family member that he had considered suicide.
“I think they think I’m going to kick myself,” Dawson said.
“I’ve thought about it, but I’m not doing it. I wouldn’t give them that satisfaction.”
During legal arguments Thursday afternoon, Mr. Dawson’s attorney Greg Walsh told the court that BM’s memories had been influenced by her conversations with Mr. Thomas.
Mr. Walsh argued that BM never claimed to have seen Mr. Dawson “whip” Mrs. Dawson with a towel; however, when she spoke to Mr. Thomas, he introduced the term she subsequently adopted.
“That’s a classic example of how memory can be contagiously distorted if I could use that term,” said Mr. Walsh.
Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Pauline David told the court on Thursday that Thomas should be held with contempt of court after public comment on the case.
He was quoted in The Australian on Thursday after completing his proof on Wednesday.
During his testimony, Mr. Thomas denied that he “poisoned the minds” of potential witnesses.
Ms. David asked Judge Ian Harrison to consider whether it amounted to contempt of court.
“I find it contemptuous in the sense that it … comments on the process of the trial,” Ms. David said.
Justice Harrison said he would consider the matter at another time.
The trial continues on Monday.