A verdict will be handed down in the murder trial of former Sydney teacher Chris Dawson this month, the NSW Supreme Court has confirmed.

Key points:

  • Justice Ian Harrison will deliver his verdict on August 30
  • Mr Dawson pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Lynette in 1982
  • The Crown alleges he killed her to have a relationship with the teenage babysitter

Mr Dawson, 74, pleaded not guilty to the alleged murder of his first wife Lynette Dawson, who vanished from their northern beaches home 40 years ago.

Justice Ian Harrison, who heard the trial without a jury, will deliver a judgement on August 30.

The Crown alleged during the trial that Mr Dawson, an ex-Newtown Jets forward, killed Ms Dawson and disposed of her body on or about January 8, 1982.

It was alleged he was motivated to kill her in order to have an unfettered relationship with their teenage babysitter, known as JC.

“His obsession with JC, his fear of losing her and the impediment his wife posed … ultimately motivated him to murder her,” Crown prosecutor Craig Everson SC said.

In the witness box, JC alleged that Mr Dawson told her in 1981 he had considered hiring a hitman to kill Ms Dawson but decided against it.

Mr Dawson's lawyers denied he had any involvement in Ms Dawson's disappearance, and argued she abandoned her family amid a marriage breakdown.

Judge to hand down verdict in Chris Dawson murder trial this month

Lyn Dawson went missing in 1982 and has not been heard from since. (Supplied)

It was not disputed at trial the couple's relationship was troubled in the months preceding Ms Dawson's last confirmed sighting.

Ms Dawson was 33 when she disappeared from her Bayview home and her body has never been recovered.

The court heard claims Mr Dawson spoke with his wife, with whom he shared two children, over the phone several times in the months after she left home. 

Mr Dawson's barrister, Pauline David, acknowledged in court that he may have “failed” his wife but said he did not have any motive to get rid of Ms Dawson.

She told the court her client had been painted as a “guilty man” over 30 years or media reporting and police investigations.

“He has not ever been afforded the presumption of innocence,” Ms David said.

In a police interview recorded in 1991, and played to the court, Mr Dawson said JC's claims he weighed up hiring a hitman were a “complete and utter fabrication”.

Then 42, he told police he still lay awake at night “crying my heart out” wondering what happened to Ms Dawson.

Some defence witnesses testified they saw a woman they believed was Ms Dawson at times after she was allegedly murdered.

The prosecutor, however, argued those testimonies were unreliable.

The court heard Ms Dawson never contacted her children, parents or siblings, whom she was close to, after the day she disappeared.

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