Legal

Wed, 5 Dec, 2018Danielle McCarthy

The Teacher's Pet cold case breakthrough: Chris Dawson arrested over death of wife Lynette

The Teacher's Pet cold case breakthrough: Chris Dawson arrested over death of wife Lynette

Former rugby league star Chris Dawson, who is the subject of popular podcast The Teacher's Pet, has been in arrested in Queensland and is expected to be charged with the murder of his wife, Lynette.

In 1982, Mrs Dawson disappeared from the couple's Sydney northern beaches home at the age of 33.

Now, Queensland Police have confirmed that a man – her husband, Chris Dawson – was arrested on Wednesday and will appear at Southport Magistrates Court.

“A 70-year-old Coolum man was arrested by detectives from the Queensland Police Service’s Homicide Squad in the presence of Strike Force Scriven investigators at Biggera Waters, on the Gold Coast, in Queensland," NSW police said.

"NSW detectives will apply for his extradition at his first court appearance. Lynette Dawson’s family has been advised of today’s arrest and have requested privacy at this time."

Mrs Dawson’s disappearance has been an enduring 36-year mystery that has recently been made prominent due to The Australian’s award-winning podcast The Teacher’s Pet.

In 2015, NSW Police established Strike Force Scriven to re-investigate the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and suspected murder.

A week-long search of her former home in Bayview in September failed to find any new evidence.

Two separate inquests into her disappearance recommended to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that a “known person”, now identified as Chris Dawson, be charged with her murder.

However, the DPP determined that there was not enough evidence to lay charges.

Following further inquiries, detectives applied for an arrest warrant before travelling to Queensland.

At the time of her disappearance, Mr and Mrs Dawson had two daughters, aged four and two.

Mr Dawson worked as a sports teacher at Cromer High after playing as a professional footy player for the Newtown Jets.

The sports teacher was having an affair with 16-year-old pupil, Joanne Curtis.

Two days after Mrs Dawson’s disappearance, Joanne moved into the family home.

Mr Dawson didn’t report his wife as missing until six weeks later, telling everyone that she had run away to join a religious cult.

Earlier this year, one of the Dawson daughters, Sherryn Dawson, defended her dad and called the popular podcast a “witch hunt”.

Following today’s arrest, Mrs Dawson’s brother Greg Simms told the Daily Telegraph: “I’m the happiest man alive today and if Lynette is up there looking down, she’d be smiling at us.

“I am ecstatic, very emotional and teary.

“This was our last chance with the DPP and we’ve finally got a result.

“I’m just so relieved, I want to find out every detail of what happened to my sister, every minute detail. It’s been years and finally we might get closure.”

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