In December 1980, Chris Dawson slipped certainly one of his feminine college students a Christmas card with the phrase “Petal” printed on the envelope.
The cardboard was given to a younger lady, JC, who was 16 years previous on the time and a pupil on the northern seashores faculty the place Dawson taught bodily training.
Now, 42 years later, Dawson is spending his first Christmas in jail for the homicide of his spouse Lynette Simms due to a collection of occasions that may be traced again to that card.
In a shocking conclusion to one of many nation’s most well-known chilly circumstances, Dawson was in August discovered responsible of his spouse’s homicide.
Choose Ian Harrison discovered that Dawson was motivated to kill Ms Simms as a result of his “possessive infatuation” with JC and need to start out a brand new life along with her.
Dawson was sentenced to 24 years in jail and can first be eligible for parole in 2040 when he might be 92 years previous.
Nevertheless, he has been informed he can count on to die in jail.
THE SCHOOLGIRL AND THE ‘GROOMING STAGES’
In early 1980, Dawson started educating a 12 months 11 bodily training class through which JC was a pupil.
Throughout her proof to the Supreme Courtroom, she described her interactions with Dawson within the schoolyard in early 1980 as “the grooming phases” of their relationship.
She informed the court docket that he would brush up towards her within the schoolyard and depart notes and love letters in her faculty bag.
One, dated Christmas 1980, learn: “Glad Christmas. A couple of times each minute. Love all the time. God.”
Requested why Dawson had signed the cardboard as “God”, JC stated: “He wished to disguise who he was as a result of it was 1980 and I used to be 16 and that’s what he referred to as himself.”
Justice Harrison discovered that the playing cards demonstrated that even at that early stage, Dawson harboured “an infatuation of great energy” and that he turned “more and more jealous” of any curiosity proven in JC by younger boys.
JC would later grow to be the babysitter for Dawson’s two younger kids, setting off a sequence of occasions that led to his spouse’s homicide.
SOUTH WEST ROCKS
JC moved into the Dawsons’ Gilwinga Drive dwelling in late 1981 however was kicked out by Ms Sees when she confronted her about “taking liberties” along with her husband.
Throughout her keep on the Dawson dwelling, JC walked across the household pool topless and in a G-string and would commonly have intercourse with Dawson after his spouse had fallen asleep.
Ms Simms was final seen on January 8, 1982, when she spoke to her mom on the cellphone.
Her physique has by no means been discovered and a “proof of life” verify did not uncover any suggestion that she was alive after that time.
The Crown prosecution argued within the months main as much as her demise that Dawson hatched 4 plots to go away his spouse, together with making an attempt to maneuver right into a flat in Manly and, simply earlier than Christmas 1981, packing up his belongings and setting out for Queensland with JC.
Dawson left a observe for his spouse saying: “Don‘t paint too dangerous an image of me to the women.”
Nevertheless, lacking her household and feeling unwell, JC pressured him to show round.
Justice Harrison discovered that whereas Dawson provided her the form of secure male determine that her life had been missing, she didn’t share his enthusiasm for his or her relationship.
They arrived again in Sydney on Christmas Day, however as a substitute of returning dwelling to be along with his spouse, Dawson spent the day with JC hiding out at his brother Paul’s home.
In the meantime, Ms Simms and her two daughters went to Chris’s father or mother’s home for Christmas celebrations.
Early within the new 12 months, JC travelled to South West Rocks the place she holidayed with family and friends however solely after telling Dawson she wished to finish their relationship.
And it was throughout this fateful journey that Dawson resolved to kill his spouse.
“Mr Dawson was in Sydney, a whole lot of kilometres from JC, with no information of what she was doing or with whom, whereas he remained shackled to a spouse that he had solely days earlier than proven himself to be greater than enthusiastic to go away,” Justice Harrison stated.
“I’m happy that the prospect that he would lose JC so distressed, pissed off and in the end overwhelmed him that, tortured by her absence up north, Mr Dawson resolved to kill his spouse.”
JC and Dawson went on to marry and have one little one collectively nonetheless went by an acrimonious separation in 1990, throughout which she made her first assertion to police and a collection of significant allegations.
She claimed to police that on one event she had accompanied him to a membership someplace south of the Harbour Bridge the place he informed her he tried to rent a hitman to kill his spouse however modified his thoughts.
Nevertheless, Justice Harrison discovered “it appears unbelievable within the excessive that Mr Dawson, or extra typically anybody who … was considering killing his spouse, would inform his younger and impressionable … lover that he was considering arranging for his then spouse to be murdered.”
Dawson gave one interview to police, in Queensland in January 1991, throughout which he claimed that “(JC) additionally doesn’t know of nights that I lay awake crying my coronary heart out hoping for some contact from Lyn”.
However Justice Harrison stated Dawson had a collection of lies over a long time that demonstrated a consciousness of guilt.
Ms Simms’ disappearance was the topic of two coronial inquests however it wasn’t till the discharge of the Trainer’s Pet podcast that kickstarted curiosity within the case that led to Dawson’s arrest in late 2018.
It’s not recognized how Ms Simms died or the place her physique is buried.
Dawson declined to provide proof at his sentence listening to and has refused to make admissions about his former spouse’s resting place.
He has flagged that he’ll enchantment his sentence, however Ms Simms’ household have stated they’ll pay no consideration to these proceedings.
“From right this moment on we wish her to be often called Lynette Pleasure Simms,” her brother Greg Simms stated on the steps of the Supreme Courtroom after Dawson was jailed.
“No sentence is lengthy sufficient for taking somebody’s life. We respect and thank Choose (Ian) Harrison for his sentence.
“We hope Chris Dawson lives an extended life as a way to serve that sentence.”
Initially revealed as Chris Dawson’s first Christmas in jail after trial of the century