News State New South Wales Accused murderer Chris Dawson secures bail

Accused murderer Chris Dawson secures bail

Chris Dawson is pleading not guilty to the murder of wife Lynette. Photo: AAP
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Chris Dawson has walked free from a western Sydney prison just weeks after he was charged with the murder of his first wife, Lynette.

The former rugby league player was picked up in a Porsche by his older brother, Peter Dawson, and driven out the gates of Silverwater Jail this afternoon.

The 70-year-old, who was granted bail a week ago, denies killing his ex-wife, Lynette Dawson, who vanished from their northern beaches home 37 years ago.

The former high school teacher is expected to spend Christmas with his family at home on the Sunshine Coast before he is due to face court again in February.

He is now expected board a flight to either Maroochydore or Brisbane tonight.

As part of his bail conditions, set out by Magistrate Robert Williams, the former high school teacher must live at his Coolum property, which he had to mortgage to make a $1.5 million security.

The other $750,000 came from Peter Dawson and his wife Sheryl, who also mortgaged their Dural home in Sydney’s north-west.

Chris Dawson’s lawyer, Greg Walsh, said it had been a frustrating time for his client.

“I saw him just the other day and he was anxious to get out – I would say he’s very stoic and looking forward to being reunited with his family for Christmas,” he said.

“He’s a courteous man, a very quiet man, quite a reserved gentleman, and he’s been very appreciative of the efforts that have been made to help him.”

Mr Dawson cannot go further than 20 kilometres from his Sunshine Coast home, where he now lives with his third wife, Susan Dawson.

He will be expected to report daily to Maroochydore Police Station and must agree to not go within a 1-kilometre radius from an airport after he returns home.

He also had to surrender his passport.

The former sports teacher is not to have any contact with witnesses, including his second wife and student lover, who moved into his Bayview home two days after his first wife disappeared.

The last person the ex-nurse spoke to was her mother, who she planned to meet at Northbridge Baths the day she went missing in 1982.

Chris Dawson has always denied killing the mother of his two children, and spent less than two weeks in isolation at Silverwater Jail after he was charged with her murder.

Lynette’s body has never been found, with one of Australia’s biggest cold cases largely based on circumstantial evidence and strong accounts from witnesses.

Mr Dawson will have to fly back to Sydney in February when he is due to face Central Local Court.