Accounts of bruising on Lynette Dawson part of bigger picture showing she was murdered, prosecution alleges

Witness accounts that Lynette Dawson was seen bruised before she vanished in January 1982 were small pieces of a larger picture showing she was murdered by her husband, prosecutors have told a court.

As the murder trial against Christopher Michael Dawson, 73, enters its closing phase, crown prosecutor Craig Everson SC said that evidence of the bruising could lead the NSW supreme court to find Lynette Dawson had been killed instead of having left home.

Dawson has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder and denies having any involvement in his wife’s disappearance.

Everson said the crown was attempting to show Dawson had three tendencies through its evidence: that he had an animosity towards his wife, that he had contemplated using a third party to kill her, and that he wanted the school student he was having an affair with, known as JC, to be his wife and the mother of his children.

The barrister described testimony heard by the court that Lynette Dawson had been seen with black eyes, and bruising on her arms and legs as a “small piece of a larger mural of circumstances”.

“The unexplained bruising from those people is just simply a fact to be taken into account as a strand in the cable,” he told Justice Ian Harrison on Thursday.

Harrison also grappled with other evidence presented in the case so far, including testimony given by one of the Dawsons’ former babysitters that Chris Dawson had allegedly flicked Lynette Dawson with a tea towel in their kitchen.

“Some people might argue that it’s a pretty long drive through a dark night to contend that flicking someone with a towel is associated with killing them,” the judge said.

“They would and they’d be right but it’s not relied upon to prove that,” Everson replied.

The court also heard further audio records of police-intercepted phone calls between Dawson and those close to him in the months before his arrest in December 2018.

In one of those calls, Dawson lamented the impact the murder allegations had had on his family, who were concerned he might kill himself.

“I won’t. I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction,” Dawson said.

He was heard saying the family should launch a class action over the harassment.

In the calls, Dawson claimed JC had lied about him to the police because of a heated custody dispute.

The hearing continues.

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