Chris Dawson has faced threats against his life by a “large number of people” since he was taken into custody on Tuesday for the murder of his first wife Lynette, his lawyer has told a court, as a sentence hearing date was set in November.
Dawson appeared in person in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday morning wearing his prison-issued dark green tracksuit and a surgical mask. He was allowed to sit next to his lawyer Greg Walsh and two sheriff officers sat between him and the exit.
The 74-year-old was found guilty of Lynette’s murder by Justice Ian Harrison on Tuesday following a two-month trial and a judgment lasting almost five hours. Lynette, a mother-of-two, was 33 when she vanished from Sydney’s northern beaches. Her body has never been found.
The judge was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Dawson murdered Lynette on or about January 8, 1982, and that she did not voluntarily leave her home at Bayview.
Dawson’s solicitor Greg Walsh told the court on Thursday that, from the brief instructions he had been able to obtain from his client, “he has been subject to constant threats against his life”.
“There’s a large number of people threatening his life,” Walsh said.
He asked the judge to direct prison authorities that every opportunity be given to affording Dawson protection, and sought non-association accommodation and access to mental health services during the “very sensitive time”.
Harrison said he did not have the power to direct them but rather make recommendations for immediate steps about Dawson’s protection “from people who think they know better than the law”.