Almost 40 years after killing his wife Lynette and disposing of her body, former Sydney schoolteacher Chris Dawson will now spend at least 24 years in jail.
On Friday, Justice Ian Harrison delivered the sentence in the NSW Supreme Court after finding the 74-year-old guilty of murder in August.
“In my opinion the murder of Lynette Dawson is an objectively serious crime,” Justice Harrison said while sentencing Dawson.
“Lynette Dawson was faultless and undeserving of her fate.”
The decision concludes a four-decade long wait for justice for Mrs Dawson’s family, who are still pleading with the convicted wife-killer to reveal the location of her body.
Dawson was given a non-parole period of 18 years, meaning he will be aged in his 90s before he can apply for release from jail.
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.
During the sentence hearing in November, crown prosecutor Craig Everson SC said Dawson had planned a “deliberate and conscious act” of domestic violence with an intention to kill.
He said a crime of “very great heinousness” required a term of life imprisonment.
Dawson’s lawyer Greg Walsh disputed claims the crime was at the high end in terms of objective seriousness.
Mr Walsh said the former Newtown Jets rugby league player had already suffered under the “most constant and egregious publicity” for four decades.
His health was also deteriorating, the court heard, with Dawson showing signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain condition often experienced by those who play contact sports.
Dawson has filed an appeal of his conviction.
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