Despite his efforts to halt the proceedings, Chris Dawson, 72, will be heading to an official trial on allegations that he murdered his wife Lynette back in 1982.
ChriDawson is accused of killing his wife in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, who was last seen at her Bayview home 40 years ago. Dawson, who maintains that Lynette is still alive, was charged in 2018, following a popular podcast on the matter.
On Friday, the Court of Criminal Appeal rejected Dawson’s application for a permanent stay, moving the matter to trial. A permanent stay basically means an indefinite halting of all proceedings due to unfair circumstances.
Chris Dawson argued that the “pre-trial publicity” through the huge popularity of the podcast would negatively alter the results of any sort of trial, but it was decided by Chief Justice Bathurst that allegations as serious as this should always go to trial.
For legal reasons, we cannot name the podcast.
“Mr Dawson argued that these matters, either alone or together, would render any trial necessarily unfair and that if he were convicted, this would bring the administration of justice into disrepute. He, therefore, sought a permanent stay,” a judgment summary read.
“A permanent stay of proceedings, if granted, would mean that Mr Dawson would not stand trial on the charge of murder.”
In the summary, Justice Bathurst also made note that “a fair trial is not necessarily a perfect trial”.
“The Court agreed with the primary judge that the prejudice to Mr Dawson caused by the pre-trial publicity and delay, in this case, is very serious,” the judgment summary continued.
“However, it also held that such prejudice to Mr Dawson is able to be remedied or sufficiently ameliorated by careful directions which the judge at the trial will give to the jury, as was found by the primary judge.”
The trial of Chris Dawson is reported to return to court later in the year.