Key witness to testify in Dawson trial

As Muhammad Ali dominated Joe Frazier in one of the world’s most anticipated boxing matches, Christopher Michael Dawson was mulling how to get rid of his wife, his murder trial is expected to hear.

Stepping into the witness box on Thursday, Robert Silkman will give evidence of a conversation with Dawson on a flight from the Gold Coast where the Newtown Jets rugby league team had watched Ali in the 1975 fight billed as the Thrilla in Manila.

In his opening submissions in the NSW Supreme Court last month, Crown prosecutor Craig Everson SC said Dawson had approached Mr Silkman on the plane back to Sydney with an unusual request.


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“The Crown alleges that the accused asked Mr Silkman if he knew someone who could get rid of his wife,” Mr Everson said at the time.

Mr Silkman was a man with admitted criminal connections, the court heard.

Dawson’s alleged attempt to eliminate Lynette Dawson in 1975 went no further. However, he is accused of murdering his wife and disposing of her body in January 1982 so he could have an unfettered relationship with a woman known as JC who was his babysitter and former high school student.

Dawson, now 73, has pleaded not guilty to the charge and has denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance, claiming that she merely left home.

JC has given evidence to both police and the court that Dawson drove her to an unknown building south of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1980 or 1981 to hire a hit-man to kill his wife.

While she claims Dawson did not complete the transaction that day, JC’s retelling of this alleged incident has varied regarding the timing of when he told her afterwards about his intended purpose.

© AAP 2022