Shannen Findlay

Travel Trouble

The Teacher's Pet podcast: Lyn Dawson allegedly spotted at royal tour

The Teacher's Pet podcast: Lyn Dawson allegedly spotted at royal tour

An elderly blind woman has told the court she swore she saw missing person Lynette Dawson a year after she disappeared from her home in 1982.

Elva McBay, 101, gave evidence at a committal hearing in Sydney that aims to see if Chris Dawson will stand trial for the alleged murder of his wife.

The 71-year-old father who shared two children with Lynette has pleaded not guilty to killing Ms Dawson, and says he believes his first wife ran away to join a cult deep in the Blue Mountains region.

Her body has never been found.

Ms McBay became friends with the twin brother of Chris Dawson, Paul, while on a research course for the education department at Kogarah High School.

She eventually met Chris Dawson while he played rugby league for Newtown Jets and as a result went on to meet his wife Lynette.

In March 1983, Prince Charles and Princess Diana toured Australia and made an appearance outside the Sydney Hospital on Macquarie Street where they greeted and met with fans.

It was there, Ms McBay said appearing via video link from Wyong Court to Downing Centre, that she remembered seeing a woman who looked eerily like Ms Dawson.

"She was hurrying, she was running, she pushed in and ducked under the barricade ... I saw her face for a few seconds ... I turned to my husband and said 'I think that was Lyn Dawson'," she said.

However Ms McBay said her husband was not able to say whether it was Ms Dawson because it happened "so quickly".

Before Lynette disappeared, Ms McBay told the court she had seen Ms Dawson in a "distressed state" at her daughter's fourth birthday party.

"She was distraught, she was crying, she was trembling — I had never seen her in such a state ever."

Chris Dawson has also been charged with one count of carnal knowledge relating to when he was a sports teacher at Cromer High School in 1980.

The court heard that one of his students moved into the family home, which Ms McBay described as "very strange".

"She [Lynette] said 'I had the most dreadful row with [the girl]' this morning and she said she wanted to get rid of me'," Ms McBay told the court.

"I said 'you should get her out of the house before there is any more trouble'," she said.

Defence barrister Philip Boulton SC went on to ask Ms McBay whether she had ever seen any violent behaviour from Chris Dawson.

"No ... Chris was very quiet, placid, easy-going ... I never saw him bad-tempered ... he was an absolutely wonderful husband and he adored his wife Lyn," she told the court.

"They were one of the happiest families I had ever seen."

Ms McBay told the court she was left shocked when someone told her Mr Dawson had been charged with his wife's murder just before Christmas in 2018.

Three more witnesses are due to give their own evidence over the next week.