Hugh Jackman and Joel Edgerton are implicated in the murder of Chris Dawson
The Hugh Jackman and Joel Edgerton-starring TV series has been said to have “seduced” witnesses in the Chris Dawson murder trial by the award-winning Teacher’s Pet podcaster.
Tuesday morning was spent by Hedley Thomas in cross-examination by the defendant’s attorney Pauline David, during which Hugh Jackman’s possible involvement in a Teacher’s Pet TV series by Joel Edgerton was mentioned.
Mr. Thomas refuted Ms. David’s claim that he was “trying to poison their minds against Christopher Dawson” by speaking with potential trial witnesses, noting that the listeners to his podcast were “educated individuals with their own independent thoughts.”
The podcaster references US film and TV producer Jason Blum and Australian actor/director Joel Edgerton in a phone call between Mr. Thomas and Pat Jenkins, the sister of the suspected murder victim Lynette Dawson, which was played in court.
In a different chat with Ms Jenkins, which Ms David cited, he informed Ms Jenkins that he had talked with Hugh Jackman.
The Australian-born star would possibly play PS, the Coles ‘trolley boy’ who told the trial Chris Dawson had threatened him after learning he was romantically interested in the schoolgirl babysitter Dawson replaced Lyn Dawson with, JC.
Lynette Dawson’s 1982 disappearance was the subject of Mr Hedley’s highly popular investigative podcast series before Chris Dawson was charged with her alleged murder in 2018.
‘You flattered them, seduced them … induced them with promise of walking the red carpet?’ Ms David said, to which Mr Thomas replied, ‘that’s incorrect’, adding later he had used the film star talk ‘as banter’.
Asked by Justice Ian Harrison if he had used their potential depiction in a movie as ‘an enticement to potential witnesses’ to lure them over to his ‘point of view that Christopher Dawson was guilty of murder’, Mr Thomas said , ‘No, I don’t have power to do that’.
The court heard that a police officer overseeing a 1998 investigation into Lynette Dawson’s 1982 disappearance, Inspector Paul Hulme, had described the accused and his twin brother Paul Dawson as ‘good looking guys, the women liked them’.
Mr Hulme had said the twin had used their attractiveness ‘to their advantage’, and that in the Lyn Dawson inquiry he had no other suspect than Chris Dawson.
He also said that the alleged victim ‘didn’t run into foul play catching a bus to wherever. I’m a firm believer she never left home’
Ms David asked Mr Thomas about potentially polluting the mind of a witness by mentioning a story he’d been told about the accused being suspended while at high school ‘for having sex … with a North Sydney Girls High School’ student.
He replied: ‘That was never broadcast. It was not published in the podcast’.
Given that their subject had declined to be interviewed for the podcast, he claimed to have included “an whole part” regarding Chris Dawson’s potential legal defense at trial in the episode.
‘I got a senior judge to prepare a defence of Chris Dawson, an entire section – an exposition from a lawyer who had defended Ivan Milat at a murder trial – explaining where the deficiencies were in the … case, one by one,’ he said.
Ms David attacked Mr Thomas about a a comment he’d made to Pat Jenkins when discussing a TV miniseries on her sister’s life, accusing the journalist of saying ‘one of the most inhuman things’ about her client.
In the telephone call, Mr Thomas had said although he trusted the TV show would be ‘tasteful’ that in the fictionalised dramatisation, hypothetically a writer might depict Dawson as a person who was ‘as a child cruel to animals’.
‘You treated Christopher Dawson with absolute inhumanity by your comments. It was completely an inhumane thing to do to someone,’ Ms David said.
Mr Thomas replied that he had during a conversation ‘not a broadcast’ tried to explain ‘how script writers can change things. It was just something I plucked out of the air’.
Mr. Thomas confirmed that the accusations of a “sex ring” operating between teachers and kids in Sydney’s northern beaches in the late 1970s and early 1980s had been “explored” by his award-winning podcast.
Before his wife Lynette vanished in January 1982, at the age of 33, Chris Dawson, the PE teacher at Cromer High School at the time, took the teenage student JC into his marital home.
According to Mr. Thomas, the accusers of a sex ring “came forward of their own choosing.” He also acknowledged having declared on a 60 Minutes segment that “Lyn Dawson was almost probably, in my judgment, killed in cold blood.”
He also agreed he had told the show that Chris Dawson was ‘a despicable person, extremely narcissistic … dangerous’ and someone who had lied to himself, his daughters and his friends.
Christopher Michael Dawson, 73, is accused of murdering his wife and disposing of her body in January 1982 so he could have an unfettered relationship with his babysitter and former student, known as JC. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Teacher’s Pet presented a deceptive, unjust, and prejudiced picture of the case, according to Chris Dawson’s defense attorney, the court heard on Monday, and this might have had a substantial influence on the validity and trustworthiness of witness testimony.
Lyn’s voluntary separation from her husband and subsequent abandonment of her two young girls, who were then ages four and two, is part of Chris Dawson’s defense against the murder allegation.
The crown’s witnesses have attempted to paint Dawson as a violent, controlling and abusive husband, with testimony emerging that Mrs Dawson had been seen variously with a black eye, and bruises around her throat and on her arms and thigh.
Witnesses have said they saw him shove his wife’s face into the dirt, swing her into a doorframe, and demean her with insults such as ‘fatso’.
Dawson claims JC’s allegations are lies spurred by a bitter custody battle which occurred after their 1990 break-up.