Former rugby league star sentenced to 24 years in prison for murdering wife in 1982

Former top flight rugby league player Chris Dawson has been sentenced to at least 18 years in prison for the 1982 murder of his wife Lynn Simms. 

The judge ruled that he will serve a maximum 24 years and minimum 18 years behind bars, whilst acknowledging the likelihood that the 74-year-old will die in prison.

Dawson represented the Newtown Jets, a Sydney-based club, from 1972 to 1977, where he and his brother were part of the 1973 New South Wales Club Championship-winning side.

He’d married his wife Lynn, whom family outside the court asked to be referred to with her maiden name Simms, in 1970 having two children with her.

The 74-year-old has seen his health deteriorate and his lawyer explained the significant number of death threats he’s received over the last year regarding the case.

Lynn went missing just after New Year in 1982 with the former pro claiming she’d left due to marital problems. Her family campaigned for justice for 40 years and spoke outside the court.

“The system was against us but we got there in the end,” her brother explained.

“It’s our time to begin living our lives without this hanging over our heads. Chris Dawson has had 40 years of freedom, now it’s our turn.”

Formal arrests of Dawson were made in December 2018 and a popular podcast that detailed Lynn’s supposed disappearance had to be removed from air to ensure Mr Dawson received a fair trial. 

Having pleaded not guilty, he was adjudged to have murdered his wife and will now begin his 18 years of no parole whilst carrying the secret of where Lynn remains.

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