Former teacher at the center of hit podcast “Teacher’s Pet” to 24 years in prison for murdering his wife in 1982

An Australian former high school teacher who was the subject of the hit podcast The Teacher’s Pet was serving a 24-year jail sentence for the murder of his wife 40 years ago in a nation-snapping case.

The cold case against Christopher Dawson resumed after the 2018 podcast put pressure on police to reopen their investigation.

A 2003 inquest had recommended charging Dawson with the murder of his wife, Lynette, but prosecutors declined, citing a lack of evidence.

“Dawson enjoyed 36 years in the community, unhindered by the taint of a conviction for, or punishment for, the murder of his wife,” New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison said during the sentencing hearing.

“In practical terms, his denial of responsibility for this crime has served him well in obvious ways.”

Dawson’s attorney, Greg Walsh, said he plans to appeal the verdict.

“Our justice system and our democracy are based on the presumption of innocence,” he told the media on Friday. “He maintains his innocence.”

Lynette Dawson’s brother Greg Simms said the family welcomed the verdict.

“We respect and thank Judge Harrison for his sentence and hope Chris Dawson has a long life to serve that sentence,” he told the media.

Dawson is eligible for parole in 2040 when he will be 92.

Dan Doherty, a homicide detective who helped bring the charges, said while the verdict would bring comfort to the family, the case remained open because the victim’s body had still not been found.

In August, the Supreme Court found that Dawson had deliberately killed his wife in January 1982 in order to establish a relationship with a teenage student with whom he was having an affair and who had been babysitting and living at his Sydney home.

Dawson, now 74, claimed his wife left him – a defense Harrison called imaginative.

Lawyers for Dawson, who was tried without a jury due to the publicity of the case, argued the podcast, produced by Australian newspaper News Corp, denied him a fair trial because of the way it was portrayed.

Harrison had agreed that the podcast — a number one hit that the newspaper says has been downloaded more than 50 million times — cast Dawson in a negative light, but didn’t include it in the verdict. (Reporting by Alasdair Pal in Sydney; Editing by William Mallard)

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/australasia/former-teacher-at-centre-of-hit-podcast-gets-24-year-sentence-for-murdering-his-wife-in-1982-42190272.html Former teacher at the center of hit podcast “Teacher’s Pet” to 24 years in prison for murdering his wife in 1982

Fry Electronics Team

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