A Sydney court has heard evidence accused murderer Chris Dawson arranged for his wife Lynette’s signature to be forged on life insurance paperwork after she disappeared.
Mr Dawson, a former school teacher on Sydney’s northern beaches, is accused of murdering his wife Lynette in 1982 so he could have an “unfettered relationship” with the couple’s then-teenage babysitter.
He has pleaded not guilty.
The court has already heard evidence Ms Dawson, who was 33 when she disappeared from their Bayview home, had complained her husband was “angry all the time”.
The family’s former babysitter, who can identified only as JC, was cross-examined today by Mr Dawson’s lawyers about evidence she gave to police in 1998 about the Ms Dawson’s life insurance policy.
JC, who married Mr Dawson after Lynette vanished, told police she remembered him “cashing in” a life insurance policy the same year Ms Dawson disappeared.
She told police the policy was in Ms Dawson’s name and, for him to “cash in”, it required his missing wife’s signature.
JC told his murder trial she overheard Mr Dawson, his twin brother Paul and Paul’s wife Marilyn discuss the policy in 1982 and that Marilyn volunteered to forge Ms Dawson’s signature.
“You suggested that at that time the objective was to cancel an insurance policy in relation to Lyn Dawson?,” defence lawyer Pauline David put to JC.
“It was a policy that needed her signature in order to do whatever they wanted to do with it,” she replied.
Ms David then argued JC was making up this evidence in order to create an impression Mr Dawson was doing something “nefarious”.
“I just know what I heard and saw,” she answered.
Mr Dawson’s defence case centres around his claim his wife and the mother of his two children made her own decision to leave and he was desperate for her to return.
His lawyer today argued that he had tried to end his relationship with the babysitter at one stage so he could focus on his wife and children — a claim JC denies.
The then-babysitter was living with the couple before Ms Dawson disappeared and continued to do so after she was last seen on January 8, 1982.
JC rejected Ms David’s suggestion she was happy Ms Dawson had disappeared, cut her out of family photos in the home and demanded Mr Dawson get rid of all her belongings.
“I wanted her to come back … I wondered where she was,” she told the Supreme Court today.
JC and Mr Dawson had one child together but divorced after what she called an “abusive” relationship in which she claimed she was treated like a “sex slave”.
The trial continues.
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