Chris Dawson’s former student lover and ex-wife has admitted discussing what money could be earned from a book written about the disappearance of his first wife in 1982.
Giving evidence for the fourth day in Dawson’s murder trial on Monday, the woman, known only as JC, said she had asked author Rebecca Hazel to hurry up and finish her book so they could make some money, adding that she she may have said that as a joke.
“We joked about things like that all the time,” JC told the NSW Supreme Court.
JC said that, although she had been approached about making money from her story by various individuals, she had not actually done anything about it.
Dawson, now 73, is accused of killing his wife Lynette Dawson and disposing of her body in January 1982 so he could have a relationship with JC who was a high school student in 1980 and 1981. He has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
JC and Dawson married in 1984 and separated in 1990.
On Monday, Dawson’s barrister Pauline David accused JC of lying about her former husband in 1990 because of an acrimonious break-up.
Ms David claimed JC had lied about Dawson talking with his brother about what would happen to the family home and who would get what if he left his wife. The barrister also alleged that JC lied about insurance taken out at the time, in order to heighten suspicions about her client.
JC rejected these allegations.
The court was taken to earlier police statements by JC which varied from her current version of events around Ms Dawson’s disappearance.
Details of an incident when Dawson allegedly considered hiring a hitman to get rid of his wife had changed from JC’s first police statement in 1990 to a further statement given in 1998, Ms David said.
Claims of Dawson’s repeated violence towards JC, including an incident where he allegedly ripped off her g-string, were also not included during prior affidavits written by JC, the court heard.
Ms David said Dawson had, in fact, only been violent to JC once while they were at a Sizzler restaurant.
“During that incident, there was a situation where Mr Dawson grabbed your wrist,” she asked.
“Yes,” JC replied.
Ms David referred to letters written by Dawson to JC while the pair was breaking up in 1990. At the time, he was living on the Gold Coast and she was in Sydney.
“[JC] you are a good, beautiful person. You have so much to give those who love you. If you ever want my support or help, you know where I am. There is a house full of love up here for you,” Dawson wrote.
JC described these letters as lies to try to get her to return to the abuse and “prison-like state” in which she lived previously.
“All of these letters suggest to me that he was a desperate man who had lost something he had fought so hard for … He was pulling out all the stops to try and entice me back with his lies.”
She rejected claims by Ms David that Dawson was not abusive but was in fact affectionate towards her.
“Why would I have left the relationship if he was so loving and delightful towards me?” she asked.
The judge-alone trial continues.
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