Chris Dawson’s outburst at podcast journo caught on police wire tap

With public pressure mounting, his name in the national media and knowing police were listening in on his calls via a phone tap, Chris Dawson decided to send a pointed message to journalist Hedley Thomas.
“Hedley, you’re a f***ing w***er,” Chris told his twin brother Paul on the phone in September 2018.
Mr Dawson’s Supreme Court trial murder has entered its closing stages, with Justice Ian Harrison hearing from the final prosecution witness.
The 73-year-old former teacher and rugby league player has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Lynette, who disappeared from their Bayview home on Sydney’s northern beaches in January 1982.
On Wednesday afternoon, the court was played a series of police phone intercepts recorded in 2018, just months before Mr Dawson was arrested.
In them, he complained about his treatment at the hands of the media and statements made by Mr Thomas, who created the award-winning podcast The Teacher’s Pet, which examined Lynette’s disappearance.
The podcast, which has racked up over 60 million downloads internationally, has played a major part in the trial, with defence counsel Pauline David arguing it tainted and coloured several witnesses against Mr Dawson.
In one of the phone calls, Paul Dawson was heard complaining about statements made by Mr Thomas on a television program broadcast that night.
“How can a journalist go on national television and basically say you’re a murderer and you should be charged, the DPP has got it wrong?” Paul said to his brother.
“How can he say that when they’ve got all of the facts.”
Before adding: “Don’t forget we’re being taped.”
At the time, police had phone taps in place to catch their conversations.
“Hedley, you’re a f***ing w***er, if police want to pass that onto Hedley Thomas,” Chris said.
“He’s a w***er … Try to get me to be a part of his podcast telling me he’d give me a fair hearing and all the rest of it. Total bulls***.”
In another call three days later, with a person who was only named as “Justin”, Mr Dawson explained his version of Lynette’s disappearance.
According to Mr Dawson, Lynette walked out on their home, leaving behind her two young children.
Her body has never been found and she has never contacted any of her family and friends.
Mr Dawson claims he spoke to her several times over the following weeks before she finally told him she would not return.
The Crown prosecution has alleged Mr Dawson killed his wife so he could be with JC, a then teenage former student and babysitter, who moved into his Bayview home following Lynette’s disappearance.
“What happened was, the wife who left, was a really nice person and it seemed out of character for her to take off and not have contact with people,” Mr Dawson said.
“She did have contact with me for a little while, but she didn’t contact her mother or other family members.

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