Teacher’s Pet evidence ‘shredded’
JOURNALIST Hedley Thomas may have "shredded" evidence that could have been vital for the defence of alleged wife killer Chris Dawson, a court has heard.
It was put to the court that the News Corp reporter behind The Teacher's Pet podcast may have "shredded" transcripts of interviews with potential witnesses for the forthcoming trial of Mr Dawson.
The lawyer for accused killer Mr Dawson claims Mr Thomas said evidence from episode seven in chapter five of the podcast "needs to be shredded" or "we'll all go to jail if it airs".
Mr Dawson's lawyer Greg Walsh told the court during a brief hearing today that it was "vitally important to the defence" the material be disclosed.
Wearing a grey suit, white shirt and dark tie, 70-year-old Mr Dawson looked tense and unsmiling as he sat at the back of the court next to his older brother Peter before the NSW Chief Magistrate Judge Graeme Henson.
The former teacher is accused of killing his wife on Sydney's northern beaches 37 years ago.
Lynette Dawson's disappearance in 1982 was the subject of highly popular investigative podcast series The Teacher's Pet before her former husband was charged last year.
The court heard this morning an extra 100 hours of raw interview material from the podcast had yet to be gathered by the prosecution from Mr Thomas and given to Mr Dawson's defence team.
Mr Thomas will be called as a witness to give evidence from his Teacher's Pet interviews near the end of the year, before the trial takes place.
"It is a huge task to read this material, thousands of pages," Mr Walsh, who told Judge Henson he would subpoena witnesses if necessary.
Outside the court, Mr Walsh claims Mr Thomas made the comment about "shredding" evidence at a public function in Brisbane in 2017.
Mr Dawson last appeared in February when prosecutors were granted extra time to sift through more than 100 gigabytes of data.
He is currently on strict bail conditions and living on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Mr Dawson was extradited from Queensland to Sydney last December over the 1982 disappearance of his then wife, 33-year-old Ms Dawson, and charged with her murder.
He will plead not guilty, according to his legal team.
Mr Dawson spent about two weeks incarcerated in Silverwater's Metropolitan Remand Centre prison following his arrest.
He was granted bail on a $1.5 million surety and returned to live in his Coolum home in Queensland with his third wife.
The court previously heard Mr Dawson's older brother Peter would offer a $750,000 bail surety and that the accused would also put his $1 million home up as security.
Under current his bail conditions as he awaits trial, Mr Dawson is required to report daily to police, has surrendered his passport and must not approach any international point of departure or go further than 20km from his Coolum home except when attending court.
Mr Dawson's matter will return to court o June 20, when he will not need to appear if legally represented.