Former Rugby Star Loses Appeal to Overturn Conviction in Wife’s Murder

A former rugby star named Chris Dawson, who was convicted of the murder of his wife Lynette forty years ago, has now lost an appeal. 

On Thursday, Dawson’s effort to overturn the guilty judgment was unanimously rejected by a panel of three judges in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal. Dawson’s attorneys claimed there was insufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Dawson murdered his wife Lynette in 19; They also contended that the trial judge committed mistakes. Dawson was granted leave by the state’s highest court, which subsequently rejected his appeal and maintained his conviction.

A hearing in May lasted three days. The appeals failure means the 75-year-old Dawson is facing the possibility of dying behind bars. 

Lynette Simms, his wife, went missing in January 1982 from their Bayview home on Sydney’s northern beaches. He was convicted of her murder in August 2022 and sentenced to death. Shortly after she went missing, Dawson invited his teenage mistress—a former student and nanny for the family—at his Gilwinga Drive residence.

Justice Ian Harrison of the Supreme Court ruled that Dawson murdered his wife so that she would be out of the way and he would have “unfettered access” to JC, his young lover. 

Jenny Adamson, Anthony Payne, and Julie Ward, the justices, rejected Dawson’s appeal. Dawson must appeal to the High Court if he wants to be released from prison before he passes away. 

The court heard that Dawson had tried to escape Ms. Simms on many occasions, most notably in the days leading up to Christmas 1981, when he tried to uproot his life and go to Queensland with JC. According to what the court heard, Ms. Simms discovered Dawson’s plans when she returned home and saw a letter on the bed.

In January 1982, JC took a vacation to the South West Rocks caravan park, and Dawson made the journey north to get her. After JC moved in, Dawson callously let JC pick through Lynette’s valuables and clothes to see what she liked.