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Chris Dawson Will Stand Trial Over Murder Of Wife Lynette

Chris Dawson has been committed to stand trial for the murder of his wife on Sydney's northern beaches nearly 40 years ago.

Dawson will face trial the Supreme Court later this year after being committed by magistrate Jacqueline Trad in the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday.

The 71-year-old former teacher and Newtown Jets rugby league player has pleaded not guilty.

After Dawson was told he would face a jury over the alleged murder of Lynette Dawson in January 1982, his brother-in-law, Ross Hutcheon, told the court he saw her alive later that year.

Chris Dawson and Lyn Dawson (nee Simms) married in 1970 when they were both 21 years old. Image: The Teacher's Pet

Hutcheon, giving evidence from Western Australia via video link, told the committal hearing he was driving along Victoria Road in Gladesville three to six months after Lynette's disappearance when he saw her standing at a bus stop.

"I immediately recognised her as Lyn Dawson," the accused's brother-in-law said.

"I also noted at the time to my left was Gladesville Hospital. Lyn was a nurse. I put the two together. Lyn was standing outside the hospital where I assume she was working."

An undated photo of Lynette Dawson, who was last seen in January, 1982. Image: AAP via NSW Police

Earlier this week, 101-year-old family friend Elva McBay and former Dawson neighbours Peter and Jill Breese told the court they saw Lynette Dawson alive in Sydney in the years after she went missing.

Hutcheon said he was well acquainted with Lynette Dawson after she and her husband came to live with him for three months while their house was being built.

Lyn Dawson during the Chequerboard interview. Image: ABC/ The Teacher's Pet

He claimed he turned around several minutes down the road but by the time he returned to the bus stop the woman he thought was Lynette Dawson was gone.

He said he regretted not speaking with her and did not report the sighting at the time - despite knowing Lynette was listed as missing.

chris dawson
Chis Dawson leaving the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney in May 2019. Image: AAP.

Hutcheon did not give evidence of the sighting until two police officers came to his home in October 1999.

He also did not appear at two inquests into Lynette Dawson's disappearance.

"As far as I was concerned, police had every detail I saw at the sighting," Mr Hutcheon said.

"I thought the system knew."