Bombshell claims in Chris Dawson murder appeal

Chris Dawson has been accused of having a “complete lack of sentiment” towards his two young daughters during the third day of the wife killer’s murder charge appeal.

The 75-year-old appeared at the NSW Supreme Court via video link on Wednesday wearing prison greens as crown prosecutor Brett Hatfield argued he had told “advantageous lies” to cover up the murder of his wife Lynette Simms.

The appeal hearing is being overseen by judges Julie Ward, Anthony Payne and Christine Adamson.

During the murder trial, the court heard from artist Kristin Hardiman, who said she had received a commission from Ms Simms in November 1981 for a portrait of her two daughters.

Ms Hardiman arrived at the family home in mid-January 1982 to take the photo before being told by Dawson that Ms Simms had “gone away” and no longer wanted the portrait.

Mr Hatfield used the piece of evidence to point out the “inconsistency” of Dawson’s claims that he had spoken to Ms Simms on January 9, 1982 during a long-distance phone call and was expecting her to return.

Dawson claims Ms Simms told him on the call that she needed “some time away” from him and the children before calling him twice more on January 10 and 15.

Mr Hatfield also said the incident spoke to Dawson’s character.

“Not only the reaction of the applicant for the complete lack of sentiment towards his own children but a complete lack of regard for the young artist,” he said.

The notion resonated with Justice Ward who told the court the comment was strange if he was expecting her to return.

“It seems to me to be odd that he knows she doesn’t want them anymore,” Justice Ward told the court on Wednesday.

“This is at a stage when he’s telling people he thinks she’s coming back.”

In August 2022, NSW Supreme Court Judge Ian Harrison found Dawson had killed Ms Simms to start a new life with his teenage student in Queensland.

The teenager was also the couple’s babysitter.

He was sentenced to a maximum of 24 years in prison for his wife’s murder with a non-parole period of 18 years.

Dawson’s appeal, which began on Monday, rests on five separate grounds, namely that he suffered from a “miscarriage of justice”.

On Tuesday, Dawson’s lawyer argued his “good character” should be taken into account which was quickly shut down by the panel judges.

If his appeal succeeds, the court could quash the charges or order a retrial.

The hearing continues.

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