Monday, 17 December, 2018

Chris Dawson, subject of The Teacher's Pet podcast, arrested

A police officer stands close to the rear entrance of a house from where Police recovered five dead bodies in the suburb of Australia's western city of Perth Greg Wood AFP Getty Images File A police car in Perth Australia
Pablo Mccormick | 05 December, 2018, 17:21

The brother of missing Sydney mother-of-two, Lynette Dawson, said he was "ecstatic" on hearing the news that Chris Dawson was arrested this morning.

The cold case is the subject of popular podcast "The Teacher's Pet", which details a troubled marriage leading up to the disappearance and examines the shortcomings of the police response.

Lyn Dawson was last seen in Sydney's northern beaches in January 1982.

Prior to his wife's disappearance, Chris Dawson and his twin brother Paul had been star players for the Newtown Jets rugby league club.

'That information enabled New South Wales Police to get an arrest warrant for a 70-year-old man now living in Queensland, ' Fuller said.

Macquarie Media Reporter Anthony Laughton was in Southport Arrest Court as Chris Dawson applied for bail, fighting an extradition request from NSW Police.

Mr Dawson told Lynette's family that she needed time away, and he did not report her missing to police for nearly six weeks.

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Police have been criticised for not investigating the disappearance properly.

It came after Mr Dawson began a relationship in 1980 with his 16-year-old student Joanne Curtis. He has said that she abandoned the family for a religious group.

Dawson is a former first grade rugby league player turned high school teacher.

Mick Fuller, the New South Wales police commissioner, recently apologised for police failings on the case during the 1980s.

"There is clear and uncontested evidence that Lyn Dawson was alive long after she left Chris and their daughters", they said in a statement.

"Statements from witnesses helped us tie pieces of the puzzle together".

"A team of dedicated detectives has been investigating this case over the past three years", he said in a statement.

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"We have no doubt whatsoever that Chris will be found not guilty as he is innocent".

"We're certainly hoping an interview with this 70-year-old man who's now in custody in Queensland will assist us with the outcome of where the body may be".

Mr Dawson, who was also a highschool Physical Education teacher, was taken into custody at a home in Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast just before 8am on Wednesday.

Fuller said authorities have not located Dawson's body, and that finding her remains is "not crucial to finalising the matter", but maintained "we certainly won't give up on that search".

In 2015, New South Wales Police's Strike Force Striven was established to reinvestigate the case.

"We were always hopeful but if you look back over the years you could say we've been kicked in the guts a few times, but we've got there".

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