Former Sydney teacher Chris Dawson will stand trial for the murder of his wife Lynette after his latest bid to halt criminal proceedings was thrown out by appeal court judges.
Mr Dawson, 72, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Lynette Dawson, who was last seen at their Northern Beaches home in 1982.
In 2020, Mr Dawson’s legal team applied for a permanent stay of proceedings.
A permanent stay would mean the indictment that charges Mr Dawson with murder would not proceed to trial.
But in a brief hearing on Friday, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed Mr Dawson’s appeal saying permanent stays are “reserved for the most extreme cases”.
Chief Justice Tom Bathurst, Justice Christine Adamson and Justice Geoffrey Bellew ruled in a majority decision that it was not unreasonable for Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Fullerton to refuse to grant a permanent stay.
While the appeal court judges agreed that the pre-trial publicity and delay in the case was “very serious”, they said it could “be remedied or sufficiently ameliorated by careful direction which the judge at the trial will give to the jury”.
Chief Justice Bathurst noted that “a fair trial is not necessarily a perfect trial”.
He added that “while fairness to the accused is one consideration, so too is the public interest of the community in bringing those charged with serious criminal offences to trial”.
Mr Dawson was arrested at a relative’s house on the Gold Coast before being extradited to Sydney, where he was formally charged with murder.