The Block judge Shaynna Blaze has spoken out after Chris Dawson was found guilty of the murder of his first wife, Lynette Dawson, 40 years ago.
**Content Warning: This article contains references to domestic violence and may be triggering to some readers.
On August 30, Justice Ian Harrison brought the paramount “Teacher’s Pet” case to a close, finding Dawson guilty just after 3 pm at NSW’s Supreme Court.
A day later, Blaze — the co-founder of the anti-domestic violence organisation Voice of Change — took to her Instagram Story to highlight Lynette Dawson’s family’s lengthy battle over the past four decades.
“It’s taken 40 years for justice for Lynette Dawson & her family,” she penned.
“My heart goes out to her family of the pain they have endured at the hands of someone that was meant to be Lynette’s partner, not her murderer.”
Dawson’s verdict was handed down after a 10-week trial.
Justice Harrison agreed with the Crown’s argument that Dawson was moved to kill his wife to gain “unfettered” access to his teenage girlfriend JC.
He also ruled Dawson was deeply bitter toward Lynette. Further, he saw murder as a means to escape a divorce’s financial and custodial implications.
“I am satisfied he resolved to kill his wife,” Justice Harrison said. “There was also the financial motive of potentially losing his investments.”
Dawson will be held at Silverwater Correctional centre as he awaits sentencing.
It is still unknown where Lynette Dawson’s body is.
The “Teacher’s Pet” Case Conclusion Comes After Shaynna Blaze’s Attacker Was Jailed
Blaze’s comments on the case come just weeks after her own attacker was jailed.
Mark Surmon was jailed for 100 days after being found guilty of unlawful assault after he struck Blaze in the back of the head and punched her in the left cheek.
He also “attempted to quieten” his victim’s cries for help “by putting his hand around her face and mouth” during the attack on April 18, 2020.
After being sentenced on April 5 this year, The Block judge’s attacker immediately appealed his imprisonment. The 40-year-old was granted bail that same day.
However, County Court judge Geoffrey Chettle dismissed his appeal in early August. As a result, Surmon was sent to prison for the full 100 days, less than 28 days already served.
Blaze has revealed she is “pleased that the judicial process has now been concluded”.
“The perpetrator has been sentenced for his actions”, she said, as reported by the Herald Sun. “Crimes like this need to stop, and punishment and rehabilitation are both important levers for our society.”
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also talk to someone from 1800RESPECT via online chat. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
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