Chris Dawson is taken into custody. Picture: NSW police
Chris Dawson is taken into custody. Picture: NSW police

'Teacher's Pet' case: Chris Dawson denied bail

UPDATE: FORMER teacher Chris Dawson has been refused bail and will be extradited to NSW over the alleged murder of his wife Lynette almost 37 years ago.

Lynette Dawson's disappearance has been the subject of The Australian's Gold Walkley winning podcast The Teacher's Pet.

Dawson showed no emotion when he appeared in Southport Magistrates Court after being arrested at Biggera Waters on the northern Gold Coast this morning.

Barefoot and wearing a crumpled khaki T-shirt and green shorts, the 70-year-old sat quietly in the dock with his head bowed, occasionally looking up at magistrate Dennis Kinsella.

He had his head in his hands as the magistrate read out the police case, including allegations of domestic violence against his wife.

The court heard Dawson would be charged with murder by NSW police, and bail was opposed by Queensland police because of the seriousness of the alleged offence.

Applying for bail, duty lawyer Rachel Barnes told the court Dawson wanted to go to NSW voluntarily and surrender to police as early as tomorrow.

She said he planned to live with his brother in NSW.

Ms Barnes said Dawson understood the allegations against him were serious, but he was not a flight risk.

"He's got the capacity to go directly to NSW and surrender himself down there," she told Mr Kinsella.

Mr Kinsella adjourned the hearing for about 30 minutes to consider bail laws, before rejecting the application.

He said Dawson was an unacceptable risk of failing to appear, and remanded him in the custody of NSW detectives to appear in Parramatta Local Court tomorrow.

Such is the high profile of the case that the Queensland Police Homicide Squad boss Damien Hanson was this morning at Southport Magistrates Court for the extradition hearing.

Mrs Dawson went missing, aged 33, from the family house on Sydney's northern beaches on January 8, 1982.

The case was the centre of this year's podcast The Teacher's Pet, run by News Corp Australia's The Australian, which topped download charts globally and was awarded the 2018 Gold Walkley award.

Just before 8am today, 70-year-old Mr Dawson, from Coolum, was arrested by detectives from the Queensland Police Service's Homicide Squad.

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EARLIER: CHRIS Dawson, the husband of Lynette Dawson who disappeared from Sydney's northern beaches in the early 1980s, has been arrested in Queensland.

It's believed he was arrested on the Gold Coast this morning and taken to the Southport watchhouse. It's believed he will be charged with murder.

Mrs Dawson went missing aged 33 from the house on January 8, 1982.


Chris Dawson has been arrested on the gold Coast
Chris Dawson has been arrested on the gold Coast


The case was the centre of the award-winning podcast Teacher's Pet, run by News Corp's The Australian.

Police spent in excess of $500,000 on the mammoth forensic search in Bayview, Sydney, in the hope of unearthing clues into Lynette's disappearance at the family home.

The $2.4 million five-bedroom property at 2 Gilwinga Dr was owned by Chris Dawson and his former wife when she went missing.

Mr Dawson has always maintained his innocence.


A file photo of Chris Dawson.
A file photo of Chris Dawson.


Lyn (Lynette) Dawson.
Lyn (Lynette) Dawson.


At the time the couple lived at the home with their two daughters aged four and two.

Mr Dawson was a sports teacher at Cromer High and was having an affair with pupil Joanne Curtis, which started when she was 16, when Mrs Dawson disappeared.

The Dawsons had built the family home with the help of money lent to them by Mrs Dawson's parents.

In the 1970s Mr Dawson was a professional footy player with the Newtown Jets in the New South Wales Rugby League, playing alongside his twin brother, Paul Dawson.

Mr Dawson was also a part-time model for jeans and corn chips during his playing days.

He and his twin brother Paul were well known in the northern beaches of Sydney.

It was following his retirement from professional footy in the late 1970s, that Mr Dawson became a physical education teacher at Cromer High School.