Australia

Chris Dawson: Husband in podcast mystery released on bail

Chris Dawson arrives at Sydney police station in a police car Image copyright EPA
Image caption Australian Chris Dawson is accused of murdering his wife who vanished in 1982

The husband of Lynette Dawson, a Sydney woman whose disappearance has been the subject of a popular crime podcast, has been released on bail after his arrest for her alleged murder.

The 70-year-old denies killing his wife, saying that she abandoned the family for a religious group in 1982.

The story of her disappearance is told in Australian podcast The Teacher's Pet, which secured a global following.

Chris Dawson was greeted by a media throng upon exiting jail on Monday.

He posted A$1.5m (£850,000; $1.05m) bail and will return to his family home in the state of Queensland, where he will have to surrender his passport and report daily to authorities.

Image copyright SUPPLIED
Image caption Lynette Dawson, a mother of two, was last seen in 1982

Police arrested the former high school teacher on 5 December, following a three-year re-investigation of the cold case.

No trace of Mrs Dawson has ever been found since she vanished from the couple's Sydney home 36 years ago.

Her husband had been having an affair with the family's babysitter, one of his students, at the time of her disappearance, an inquest in 2003 found.

That inquest and another also concluded that she was killed by a "known person". However prosecutors at the time said they had insufficient evidence to press charges.

The podcast, produced by The Australian newspaper, meant the case gained wider attention in Australia and internationally.

Mr Dawson's lawyer told the newspaper his client would be "hugely relieved" to return home.

"He's very stoic and looking forward to being reunited with his family over Christmas," Greg Walsh said.

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