Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Fresh witness evidence leads to arrest of Chris Dawson over wife's disappearance

Fresh witness evidence leads to arrest of Chris Dawson over wife's disappearance

Dawson, a Newtown rugby league player in the early 1970s, has always been a suspect in the case but denies any involvement in his wife's disappearance.

His lawyer made an application for bail, which was opposed by police.

Chris Dawson, 70, has been arrested and is expected to be charged with his wife's murder.

Dawson denies killing his wife, and says she left home at the time of her disappearance to get some time to herself.

It has highlighted the bungled handling of the Dawson case by police in the early years after her disappearance, prompting an apology so many years later from the state's police commissioner.

Two days after Mrs Dawson went missing, Joanne Curtis, a 16-year-old student at Cromer High School where Mr Dawson was a teacher, moved into the family's home.

Speaking on Studio 10 on Wednesday, Lyn's brother Greg Simms - the first of her family to be contacted by police today- said the family were "over the moon" about the arrest.

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Mr Dawson's family released a statement yesterday, insisting he would be found not guilty.

Police are reportedly looking into chartering their own flight to get Mr Dawson back to NSW.

He was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Dawson held his head in his hands as the magistrate made his decision.

A number of airlines said they were reluctant to carry Mr Dawson due to his high profile and the potential of it becoming a security risk.

It has not been determined whether they will fly out of the Brisbane or Gold Coast airport.

Comm. Fuller said two additional witness statements had been taken since April, but would not comment on the significance of that evidence.

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Commissioner Fuller said police have not given up on finding her remains.

"Today is an important step forward in that".

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.

"I wouldn't have written to the DPP otherwise", he said.

He thanked the public and the media for the "partnership" in investigating the case.

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

His arrest comes three years after detectives from the Homicide Squad's Unsolved Homicide Unit established Strike Force Scriven to re-investigate the circumstances surrounding Lynette's disappearance and suspected murder.

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"Ideally, in this case we will not give up on trying to identify the whereabouts of Lynette Dawson but, from our perspective, it is not crucial to finalising the matter".

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