Chris Dawson’s former student tells court she wanted his missing wife to come back

Chris Dawson’s former student and babysitter has admitted working on a book titled The Schoolgirl, Her Teacher and His Wife, but denied it was because she wanted revenge.

Questioned by defence barrister Pauline David in the NSW supreme court on Friday, the woman known only as JC rejected the suggestion her claims she had been Dawson’s sex slave were a good way to sell her book.

Dawson is accused of killing his wife Lynette and disposing of her body in January 1982, allegedly so he could have an exclusive relationship with JC. He has pleaded not guilty to murder.

JC said the unpublished book was all about just putting her story down on paper to set the record straight.

David: I suggest to you that the suggestion you were somehow kept as some kind of a sex slave is absolutely not true.

JC: It is true.

David: I suggest to you that any suggestion he [Dawson] had any control over you is absolutely not true. That you have used that kind of language to create a good story you are wanting to sell. You have been engaged in a number of attempts to sell your life story, haven’t you? It’s pretty sensational stuff for a book, isn’t it, to say that you’re a sex slave? It is a more recent construction by you, isn’t it?

JC: I think it’s the most accurate construction I can give.

David: I suggest to you that you have reinvented your life with Mr Dawson in the most vicious way.

JC: No.

David: You have reinvented your life with Mr Dawson with the intent of destroying him most unfairly.

JC: No.

David: You have characterised this man in a way that is completely untrue.

JC: No … I don’t make up stories about Mr Dawson.

JC earlier insisted the former Sydney rugby league player told her his wife was never coming back after she disappeared.

She told the court that Dawson, now 73, begged her to move into his house in early January 1982 because his wife had gone off with a religious sect and he needed her help to look after the couple’s two children.

Asked by David if Dawson had made it clear to her that if his wife returned home, she would have to leave, JC replied: “Absolutely did not.”

JC said she moved into the Bayview house in Sydney’s northern beaches just a few weeks before she turned 18 because she felt she had nowhere else to go.

“I felt obligated. I didn’t feel like I had a choice,” JC told the court.

JC denied being happy Lynette Dawson was gone.

“I didn’t want the responsibility of cooking, cleaning, looking after Lyn’s children who she loved. I wondered where she was,” JC said.

“I wanted her to come back so I could go and live my life as a 17-year-old.”

JC said she remembered thinking: “Oh my God, what’s going on here? What am I going to do? Why am I here?”

“He [Dawson] couldn’t cook, he couldn’t clean, do the washing,” she told the court.

JC said at one stage she had to look up a cookbook to learn how to do mashed potatoes as Dawson and the two children sat at the counter watching her.

“It was an awful situation,” she said.

JC denied creating an “entirely imaginary scenario” about her life with Dawson at the time.

Shown five photographs of her and Dawson on their wedding day in 1984, JC rejected the suggestion she had been the “quintessential beaming bride”.

“I think I resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to get away from him because I tried and he had pursued me down the street … I don’t feel as though I had a choice.”

Dawson and JC separated in 1990.

Dawson has pleaded not guilty in the judge-alone trial to murdering his wife.

The crown case against Dawson is that he killed his wife and disposed of her body because of his affair with JC.

David claimed Dawson might have failed his wife as a husband, but he did not kill her.

She said the police investigation into Lynette Dawson’s disappearance had been flawed and they had failed to follow up alleged phone calls from her and sightings of her after she had supposedly been murdered.

The trial before Justice Ian Harrison continues.

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