The judge overseeing Chris Dawson’s murder trial has questioned how he should use evidence in the case which the prosecution claimed implies a violent and abusive marriage.
Op Vrydag, justice Ian Harrison said that testimony and statements in the case claimed Dawson’s wife, Lynette Dawson, had been seen with bruises or black eyes, but did not actually point to who caused those injuries.
“In my perception, there are no bright lights shining in this area," hy het gesê. “It’s all a bit dark and dingy and I might need some particular help.”
The prosecution has brought forward several witnesses in the Nieu-Suid-Wallis supreme court alleging Dawson acted violently or aggressively towards his wife, but this has been disputed in testimony by family members.
Although a body has never been found, Dawson, 73, is accused of murdering his wife and disposing of her body in January 1982 so he could have an unfettered relationship with a woman known as JC who was his babysitter and former high school student.
He has pleaded not guilty and denies any involvement in his wife’s disappearance.
Op Vrydag, the court heard more evidence of an alleged conversation in which Dawson asked fellow rugby league player Robert Silkman if he knew someone to get rid of his wife in 1975.
The discussion allegedly took place on a crowded flight from the Gold Coast to Sydney when Silkman was seated next to friend Ray Lee.
Silkman, who the court has previously heard has a number of convictions for petty theft from the 1970’s and one for arson from 1993, previously gave evidence of the conversation.
He claimed Dawson talked to him while kneeling down in the aisle of the plane after the Newtown Jets’ Gold Coast holiday where they had watched Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in the fight billed as the Thrilla in Manila. Silkman said the pair would talk when they arrived in Sydney. The topic was not brought up again, Silkman said, and there is no suggestion he did anything about the request.
Lee, 67, told the court on Friday that he did not remember the purported discussion, despite Silkman claiming he was seated next to him at the time, but said he discussed the topic with his friend later, sometime in his 20s.
Dawson’s solicitor, Greg Walsh, suggested a conversation in which someone asks about getting rid of their wife would be something one would never forget.
“Ja, you would think so,” Lee replied.
Detective senior constable, Mark O’Reilly, met Silkman, a security guard, while they were working at the Qudos Bank Arena. O’Reilly told the court that in September 2018 Silkman told him about the alleged plane conversation.
He said he had not discussed the topic of a reward for information, which was $200,000 in January 2014, with Silkman at any time.
Silkman has previously been accused by Dawson’s legal counsel of making the story up to receive the reward money, which he has denied.
Lee said Silkman was “a scallywag” but denied suggestions his friend was a “big-noter”, or someone who exaggerated their stories.
Kerry Stantscheff, n verpleegster, gave evidence on Friday of a blond-haired woman working alongside her at the Rockcastle hospital in Curl Curl, Sydney in the 1980s.
Stantscheff said the woman looked vaguely familiar but could not confirm whether it was Lynette Dawson.
Peter and Jill Breese, former neighbours of the Dawsons, had claimed they saw Lynette Dawson working at Rockcastle in June 1984.
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