Chris Dawson murder trial verdict update; Grace Tame claims threats by childhood abuser; Paul Green funeral today; NSW reports 4271 new COVID-19 cases, 37 deaths; Victoria has 2950 virus cases, 18 deaths

Chris Dawson will either be found guilty of murder or acquitted as a highly anticipated judgment is delivered over the 40-year-old disappearance of his wife Lynette.

NSW Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison will hand down his verdict later this morning after seven weeks considering witness testimony and submissions in Dawson’s two-month long murder trial.

Dawson, 74, is accused of murdering his wife and disposing of her body in January 1982 so he could have an unfettered relationship with his then teenage babysitter, known only as JC, and retain assets such as the family home in Bayview, Sydney.

Aged 33, Mrs Dawson vanished without a trace in early 1982 leaving behind her two daughters.

Her body has never been found.

The former Newtown Jets rugby league player pleaded not guilty to murder and has maintained his wife simply left home and cut contact to start a new life because of his affair.

Crown prosecutors are relying on claims Dawson was violent and abusive towards his partner before she vanished.

JC has also alleged she went with him to hire a “hitman” to get rid of his wife, but that he changed his mind at the time.

Dawson’s legal team has pointed to a myriad of witnesses who claim they saw Mrs Dawson alive and well after January 1982.

They have also blamed The Teacher’s Pet podcast, released by The Australian regarding Mrs Dawson’s disappearance, for contaminating evidence and infecting how witnesses viewed the former high school teacher.

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