Accused murderer and former teacher, Chris Dawson, allegedly engaged in sexual activities with a 16-year-old student in his parents’ bed, complimenting her afterwards with the words ‘you did very well’, a court has been told.
Dawson, 74, once a teacher and rugby league player, is currently undergoing a trial presided over by a judge alone in the NSW District Court. He is contesting allegations of engaging in sexual relations with one of his pupils more than 40 years ago.
The court was informed of their alleged encounters in various locations, including the back seat of his car, his school office, and a pool while his brother was present at the opposite end.
Dawson pleaded not guilty to one count of carnal knowledge, which pertains to supposed sexual relations with a teenage girl, referred to as AB, during the period between July 1980 and December 12, 1980. His defense lawyer noted that the exact timing of their initial sexual encounter is under dispute.
Crown Prosecutor Emma Blizard claimed that their first sexual interaction took place at Dawson’s parents’ home while AB was enrolled in his Year 11 sports class.
The trial proceedings unfolded at Sydney’s Downing Centre Court where Dawson, dressed in a prison-issue green tracksuit, listened as AB gave her testimony via videolink from an undisclosed location.
AB shared her experiences, describing their initial interactions in the school playground when she was in Year 10 in 1979, leading up to their first sexual encounter at his parents’ home in Maroubra in 1980.
AB stated that after their intimate encounter on his parents’ bed, Dawson asked if she was alright, commenting ‘I hope this was helpful’, ‘it was a good start’ and ‘you did really well’. She was instructed to keep their liaison secret.
AB’s tumultuous home life due to an alcoholic mother and stepfather was discussed, as was Dawson’s apparent interest in her. She alleged that Dawson would sometimes meet her at a local pub on Friday nights and boast about himself, which she described as part of his grooming process.
She spoke about alleged sexual encounters with Dawson at exercise classes held at Linfield, taught by the Dawson brothers, and shared a particular instance of sexual activity with Dawson in a pool, while his twin brother was similarly engaged with another young girl at the opposite end.
AB claimed that Dawson would buy her chocolates before they engaged in sexual activities in his car and also shared instances of intimate encounters in Dawson’s school office during recess.
The prosecution will be presenting cards sent by Dawson to AB, including a Christmas card from 1980 that read, ‘Happy Christmas. Once or twice every minute. Love always. God.’ AB interprets the reference to ‘God’ as Dawson’s attempt to conceal his identity.
The court was informed about a comment Dawson made in AB’s Year 11 report card, stating that she was a ‘pleasure to teach’, which AB believes was a coded reference to their sexual activities.
Dawson, who previously played for the Newtown Jets, was sentenced to 24 years in jail last year for the murder of his wife, Lynette Simms, a conviction he is currently appealing against.
Defence lawyer Claire Wasley emphasized that the trial should focus on the evidence and should not consider Dawson’s murder conviction. She also contested that Dawson’s moral character was not the issue, but rather the timing of the first sexual encounter.
Wasley explained that Dawson was finding the trial challenging and requested that he be allowed to observe the proceedings from prison starting Wednesday.
The trial, presided over by Judge Huggett, is anticipated to continue for two weeks.