6 Dec 2018

Man at centre of true crime podcast charged with murder

5:01 pm on 6 December 2018

Former teacher Chris Dawson has been charged with the murder of his ex-wife Lynette, who disappeared on Sydney's northern beaches 37 years ago.

An Australian police officer (file photo)

Photo: 123RF

The 70-year-old was extradited to Sydney this morning after he was arrested at his home on the Gold Coast yesterday.

He has always denied killing Ms Dawson, whose body has never been found.

Mr Dawson was refused bail and is due to face Central Local Court later today.

He spent the night in the Southport watch house on the Gold Coast and left in an unmarked police before travelling to Sydney on a Qantas flight.

The extradition order for Mr Dawson was approved yesterday, but there were delays in flying him to Sydney, as police liaised with commercial airlines over security arrangements.

Mr Dawson is a former Newtown Jets rugby league player and was the centre of the popular Teacher's Pet podcast.

His wife Lynette disappeared from Sydney's northern beaches on 9 January, 1982. She was 33 at the time.

Mr Dawson, a former PE teacher, moved his schoolgirl lover into the family home just days after his wife went missing.

Mr Dawson told Lynette's family she needed time away and did not report her missing to police for almost six weeks.

He maintains he had nothing to do with his wife's disappearance.

Yesterday he was arrested at Biggera Waters by detectives from Queensland Police Service's Homicide Squad.

He appeared in Southport Magistrates Court and made an application for bail, which was denied by Magistrate Dennis Kinsella, who said there was an unacceptable risk of failing to appear.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said Ms Dawson's family was relieved after being told of the arrest.

"I have said from the start, what is important to me was justice for Lynette Dawson and her family.

"Today is an important step forward in that."

Ms Dawson's sister-in-law, Merilyn Sims, said the family had been overwhelmed by support after being phoned by detectives with news of the arrest.

"I think the word we'd have to use at the moment is numb.

"We gave each other a big hug. There was a sense of relief, but knowledge that we've got a pretty tough road ahead of us now."

Ms Sims said the family's ultimate hope was to find Lynette.