Lyn Dawson framed her husband, court told
Lynette Dawson made the decision to leave home in 1982 without taking anything to make it look like her husband had killed her, a court has heard.
Giving evidence at the murder trial of Christopher Michael Dawson in Sydney on Monday, Paul Cooper said he met a woman he was sure was Ms Dawson in early 1982 at a pub in Warners Bay , on Lake Macquarie.
Cooper claimed to have struck up a conversation with the woman who said she left her husband and children and was brave enough to see her sister.
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Telling the woman that police might think she was killed by her husband because she left behind all her belongings, Cooper said he was shocked by the response.
‘When I looked at her she had a different demeanor at the time and it shocked me because I thought that might have been the intention,’ he told judge Ian Harrison .
Cooper claimed the woman was waiting for a passport and planned to fly first to Bali and then to another country overseas. She allegedly asked Cooper to book her a motel because she had no ID.
After seeing a story about Ms Dawson in A Current Affair three years ago, Cooper said he contacted Dawson’s attorney, Greg Walsh. He told the court he had not contacted the police, fearing they were biased.
Under cross-examination by Crown Attorney Craig Everson SC, Cooper admitted he spent time in jail for drugs, armed robbery, theft and breaking and entering.
He couldn’t remember if he actually asked the woman’s name that day and said he was sure she wasn’t wearing glasses at the time.
Although Cooper claimed the woman said her sister lived near Warners Bay, Mr Everson pointed out that Ms Dawson’s real sister, Pat Jenkins, lived three and a half hours away in the town of Stuarts Point.
Also on Monday, Judge Harrison dismissed evidence that Dawson had been looking for someone to get rid of his wife seven years before she disappeared.
Last month, Robert Silkman claimed Dawson approached him on a busy plane flight from the Gold Coast to Sydney to ask if he knew anyone who could get rid of Ms Dawson.
Silkman’s testimony was introduced to show that Dawson had specific tendencies that pointed to his wife’s murder.
Dawson’s legal team attacked Silkman’s credibility, pointing out that he frequently lied to police and the courts, and spent time in jail for theft and arson.
Her testimony was dismissed alongside the testimony of three other witnesses Judith Solomon, KF and Roslyn McLoughlin who claimed to have seen Ms Dawson with black eyes or bruises before her disappearance in January 1982.
This evidence had no significant probative value, the judge said.
The trial continues.