Lynette Dawson, the mother of two who vanished from Sydney’s Northern Beaches in January 1982, was the subject of a popular podcast, The Teacher's Pet, helmed by reporter Hedley Thomas. The podcast had been removed amid the court proceedings.
Dawson, who played for the Newtown Jets rugby league team, was adamant she ran away - despite Lynette having never been found or contacting her daughters, family, or friends since her disappearance.
When Dawson was first arrested in December 2018, officers said he was “a bit taken aback”.
His legal team had previously worked on an application for a permanent stay of proceedings to stop a trial going ahead.
The application cited that extensive pre-trial publicity, including a podcast, would make a trial “irredeemably unfair”.
It also said the passage of time between Lynette’s alleged murder in January 1982 and his trial also rendered any trial necessarily unfair.
However, the Supreme Court judge ordered Dawson should stand trial and that decision was upheld earlier this month by the Court of Criminal Appeal.
“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 summary read.
WATCH BELOW: Lawyer for Chris Dawson, Greg Walsh speaks outside court. Post continues after video...
“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.”
Chief Justice Bathurst said while fairness is a consideration, they also had to consider the community’s interest in bringing those charged with serious offences to trial.
Chris Dawson will be sentenced at a later date, and it is likely he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.