/Chris Dawsons lawyer tells court vitally important documents may have been shredded

Chris Dawsons lawyer tells court vitally important documents may have been shredded

Updated

May 09, 2019 11:18:28

A Sydney Court has heard “vitally important” material relating to the case against former teacher Chris Dawson for the alleged murder of his wife 37 years ago may have been shredded.

Key points:

  • The material involved interviews with witnesses and potential witness
  • The court heard there was about 100 hours of material which had not yet been provided
  • Mr Dawson is next due in court on June 20

Mr Dawson’s lawyer, Greg Walsh, told Sydney’s Downing Centre Court the shredded material was collected by journalist Hedley Thomas for The Teacher’s Pet podcast.

Thomas investigated the 1982 disappearance of Mr Dawson’s wife Lyn in his award-winning podcast.

Mr Walsh told the court the material involved interviews with witnesses and potential witnesses.

Mr Dawson, 70, was in December charged with murdering Lyn, whose body has never been found.

He is on bail and was in court for today’s hearing.

Mr Walsh said the information that some material had been shredded was included in an episode of The Teacher’s Pet podcast — however, it’s unknown whether it ever went to air.

He said that Thomas would be called as a witness when the trial begins.

Thomas’ employer, The Australian newspaper, has suspended downloads of the podcast for the duration of Mr Dawson’s trial.

The court heard there was about 100 hours of material which had not yet been provided.

Mr Walsh said if it was not provided to the defence it would be a “huge task” to keep to the timetable set down for hearing the case.

Mr Walsh told the court Thomas’ raw interviews may still be available electronically and should be disclosed because they were vital to Mr Dawson’s defence.

On an earlier occasion he said Thomas’s interviews could compromise the case.

The prosecution said it was in the process of speaking to Thomas’ lawyer about obtaining the material.

Mr Dawson is next due in court on June 20.

Topics:

law-crime-and-justice,

crime,

courts-and-trials,

murder-and-manslaughter,

sydney-2000,

maroochydore-4558,

brisbane-4000

First posted

May 09, 2019 10:38:16