After being convicted of murdering his first wife, Lynette, 40 years ago, Chris Dawson trades enviable beach views and his smart naval suit for life in prison.
After a four-and-a-half-hour sentence in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Tuesday, Judge Ian Harrison found that the 74-year-old man had spun a web of lies showing guilt, saying Dawson was a “wife I made up my mind to kill him,” he said.
Judge Harrison said Dawson had killed his wife in January 1982 so that he could be with the family’s teenage babysitter, weeks after he attempted to flee to Queensland with a young student. We accepted the prosecutor’s claim that she had disposed of her body.
Dawson has consistently maintained his innocence and has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife.
Dawson was 33 when he disappeared from a north Sydney beach, leaving behind two daughters.
Dawson left the courtroom in handcuffs and was taken into custody on Tuesday afternoon. He spent the night alone in a cell at Surry Hills Police Station.
The former rugby league star and teacher was loaded into an inmate transport truck sometime Wednesday and transported to either the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Correctional Center (MRRC) in Silverwater or Parkrea Correctional Center. will be revealed.
The correctional center is expected to become Silverwater’s MRRC, a premier security correctional facility for male offenders.
It’s the same place Dawson spent several weeks behind bars when he was arrested in December 2018.
If he is taken to the MRRC, he will be required to remove his suit and tie upon arrival for a body scan or strip search.
If he prefers to wear his own clothes, all of his private clothes will be confiscated except for his pants.
Instead, he wears a prison kit that includes a green T-shirt, shorts, tracksuit, and prison-issue shoes.
He is also given a toiletry pack containing a razor, toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.
Anything else must be ordered off the list of weekly purchases, with a maximum spending limit of $100.
The rations he is handed throughout the day are milk, cereal, seven slices of bread, coffee sachets, and prison-issued tea bags. These can be given in the evening or in the morning.
Dinner is served at 3:00 PM with a warm meal from the chill pack, the only hot meal of the day. There is no dining room, so inmates have to eat alone in their cells.
Dawson is locked in a cell around 3:00 pm after six hours of daylight in the yard with the other inmates.
His cell has a steel toilet, a kettle or jug, and a sandwich maker. He has to get up at 7am every day for his morning call.
A far cry from Dawson’s life at his Mount Coolum home on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with his third wife, Susan, he often traveled to Sydney for court appearances.
Nestled under the shadow of a crag and close to the beach, his suburban quiet streets are home to upscale homes and manicured lawns.
Dawson spent his days strolling along the coastal beach or taking a dip in the backyard pool of his 301-square-meter two-story home. He also reported daily to the Maroochydore Police Department during his bail.
Dawson is scheduled to face a bail hearing on Thursday, aiming to be released pending sentencing.