Chris Dawson’s Lawyer Accuses Teacher’s Pet Podcast Host Of Shredding Evidence
Accused wife killer Chris Dawson returned to court Thursday, armed with a very serious allegation.
Dawson's legal team accused the award-winning journalist behind the 'Teacher's Pet' podcast – Hedley Thomas - of getting rid of vital evidence in the case.
Dawson was charged with the murder of his missing wife Lynette late last year – an allegation he denies. The court hearing the case is on track aside from some missing material which Dawson’s legal team say might have been destroyed.
“Recently the prosecution has served a large amount of additional material, that material consists primary from Mr Hedley Thomas the journalist who conducted the podcast. It’s apparent that not all of that material has been disclosed,” Dawson’s lawyer Greg Walsh said.
“Also there’s evidence that he’s [Hedley] shredded some of that material, your honour this material is vital.”
The Australian, which publishes The Teacher's Pet, issued a statement in response saying Dawson’s team “is distorting”.
It explained Thomas's comments were made at a fan event -- prior to Dawson being charged -- about the legal challenges of making the podcast.
“Mr Thomas told the audience that some of his draft script for part of one episode was withheld from the podcast for legal reasons. But there was never any suggestion that any underlying document had been destroyed," it said.
“The statements made by Mr Walsh in court and outside court today in claiming there had been document destruction or shredding entirely misrepresent public statements made by Mr Thomas. They appear to have been made for the purpose of smearing the reputation of Mr Thomas.”
Walsh warned he’d start issuing subpoenas unless everything from the podcast was handed over -- and fast.
“It’s essential that this raw material with possible witness and witness be disclosed to the defence for obvious reasons," Walsh said.
But Thomas and The Australian say that’s happening.
“The Australian have already handed over about 100GB of audio and hundreds of pages of material to prosecutors. He [Thomas] is in the process of identifying and providing further relevant documents," a statement said.
Thomas will be called as a witness at an upcoming committal hearing – where both sides get to test the reliability of evidence.
Thomas’ award-winning podcast investigated the suspected murder of Lynette Dawson, who went missing from her home on Sydney’s northern beaches in 1982.
Dawson will be back in court on 20 June.