Chris Dawson sentenced over murder of wife Lynette: 'Die in jail'

Chris Dawson has been sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in jail after killing his wife nearly 40 years ago.

The former Sydney schoolteacher and professional rugby league player, 74, was found guilty of the 1982 murder earlier this year.

His wife Lynette Dawson's body has never been found, and while Friday's decision will give justice to her family, they are still pleading for him to reveal where her body is.

On Friday, Justice Ian Harrison delivered a maximum sentence of 24 years jail in the NSW Supreme Court. He will be eligible for parole in 18 years.

Chris Dawson has been sentenced to 24 years. Source: AAP
Chris Dawson has been sentenced to 24 years. Source: AAP

"I recognise the unavoidable prospect is that Mr Dawson will probably die in jail," Justice Ian Harrison said.

"In my opinion the murder of Lynette Dawson is an objectively serious crime ... Lynette Dawson was faultless and undeserving of her fate."

Dawson murdered his wife in January 1982 to have an unfettered relationship with a high school student who was also his babysitter, known as JC.

The pair eventually married in 1984 and divorced in 1991.

Mrs Dawson would not have known what was coming on that fateful night in January 1982, the judge said.

"Lynette Dawson was faultless and undeserving of her fate," he said.

Media hype claim rejected by judge

Claims media hype behind the four-decade-long mystery served as some extra punishment which should shorten the jail sentence imposed were rejected by the court.

"Mr Dawson has now been convicted of the crime which attracted the publicity in question. In those circumstances … Mr Dawson is now the author of his own misfortune," Justice Harrison said.

Dawson's 13-word response over wife's whereabouts

Dawson's lawyer Greg Walsh said outside court "there's no winners in a tragic case like this".

He stressed Dawson insists he is innocent. Dawson has filed an appeal of his conviction.

"He's entitled to maintain his innocence and the law says he's entitled to do that," he said.

Pressed on the whereabouts of Mrs Dawson's remains, Mr Walsh revealed Dawson's remarks to him.

Dawson's lawyer Greg Walsh speaking outside court on Friday. Source: ABC
Dawson's lawyer Greg Walsh speaking outside court on Friday. Source: ABC

"He said, 'I'm innocent. I don't know where she is because I didn't murder her.' That is his position."

Mr Walsh revealed he is stepping down as Dawson's lawyer after four-and-a-half years.

With AAP

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