Chris Dawson’s last-ditch legal attempt to avoid trial

Chris Dawson is making a last-ditch bid to avoid trial, asking the High Court to permanently stay the case.

The former Newtown Jets rugby league player has pleaded not guilty to killing his wife Lynette who was last seen at their Bayview home in 1982.

He has repeatedly said she is alive.

Chris Dawson, pictured here in February 2020, will stand trial on allegations he murdered his wife Lynette. (Getty)

Dawson applied to the Supreme Court for a permanent stay of proceedings citing extensive pre-trial publicity through a podcast and the delay in charging him.

But last month the Court of Appeal agreed the application should be refused.

Chief Justice Tom Bathurst said while the issues were serious, they also had to consider the community’s interest in bringing those charged with serious criminal offences to trial.

“…such prejudice to Mr Dawson is able to be remedied or sufficiently ameliorated by careful directions which the judge at the trial will give to the jury, as was found by the primary judge,” a judgement summary read.

Chris Dawson maintains his wife Lynette is alive. (Supplied)

9News can reveal the 73-year-old this week filed papers in the High Court.

“The basis of the application is simply that both the original Judge, Justice Fullerton and the court of criminal appeal erred in their approach to the permanent stay,” his lawyer Greg Walsh said.

Mr Walsh also said there was an important issue to look at in terms of the impact of new media on criminal matters, highlighted in a case which others had agreed was exceptional.  

“…this was the first occasion where the focus was on publications arising from a podcast series.”

Dawson remains on bail in Queensland with his trial set down for May 2022.

“He’s recovering some falls, he’s very depressed, so you know he’s under a lot of stress and anxiety,” Mr Walsh said.

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