A former Australian professor, who was convicted of killing his wife after a successful audiotape revealed new evidence, was sentenced to 24 years in prison on Friday.
Chris Dawson, 74, was convicted of killing Lynette Dawson nearly 40 years ago while having an affair with a teenage girl, the guardian of his children, and a former student.
The victim’s body was never found and few leads in the case surfaced until 2018, when the podcast “Teacher’s petIt sparked renewed public interest and, eventually, a new police investigation.
Announcing the 24-year prison sentence, accompanied by an 18-year security period, Judge Ian Harrison said on Friday that the motive for the killing was Mr Dawson’s ‘jealous infatuation’ with his former student, which led him to kill his wife.
“Mr. Dawson is not old by contemporary standards, but he will not live to the end of his security.”
Mr. Dawson staunchly maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
Journalist Hedley Thomas hosted The Teacher’s Pet, and just months after its first episodes aired, Dawson was arrested in December 2018.
It has often been compared to the “soap opera” podcast, a reference standard for the genre in the United States, which played a major role in overturning a man’s conviction for killing his girlfriend.
On Friday, Lynette Dawson’s brother, Greg Sims, thanked Mr. Thomas.
He commented after the sentencing: “I hope the media and the police will work together on future cases.”
“It’s time for us to start living our lives without this story being in over our heads.”