Ex-Pupil Alleges Sexual Misconduct by Convict Chris Dawson, Sue’s NSW State for Negligence


The former pupil who alleges she was surreptitiously provoked and sexually violated by convicted wife murderer, Chris Dawson, has initiated legal action against the state of New South Wales (NSW). She alleges that she was coerced into terminating a pregnancy while still a school student. In the litigation currently lodged in the NSW Supreme Court, the woman is seeking monetary reparations, maintaining that her suffering was perpetuated due to negligent actions by the state of NSW.

On the imminent Friday, Dawson is set to learn if additional time will be imposed on his imprisonment term after his prior conviction for one count of illicit sexual relations with the girl while she was merely a 16-year-old pupil at a Sydney secondary school.

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According to the woman, Dawson commenced her manipulation within the confines of the school, subtly contacting her physically and singling her out for special attention. Reportedly, he manipulated the class roster to ensure she was a pupil in his Year 11 class. It was allegedly towards the end of 1980 that Dawson first violated the student at his parental home in Maroubra, as per the woman’s statement of claim.

Subsequent court files reveal Dawson is said to have assaulted her while she undertook babysitting duties at his residence, with reported sexual encounters taking place in the guest bedroom. Dawson allegedly initiated sex with the girl when his wife would retire to the bathroom each morning.

The woman also alleges that despite friends bringing concerns regarding her interactions with Dawson to the school principal, their worries were dismissed as superficial. She also asserts that she accompanied Dawson to the school formal, where they occupied a table with staff members, and spent copious amounts of time behind his closed office door.

The woman alleges that as a 16-year-old in 1981, she became pregnant and was urged by Dawson to terminate the pregnancy. She also claims to have been compelled to dress in school uniform to satisfy Dawson’s desires and was pressed into sexual encounters with both Dawson and his brother Paul, at times simultaneously. Unsubstantiated claims were also made that she was persuaded to engage in sexual relations with Paul Dawson while Chris surreptitiously observed.

Around the same time, Paul Dawson has never faced charges for any sexual offenses involving underage girls. Chris Dawson is set to be sentenced by Judge Sarah Huggett, following a conviction on one count of illicit sexual relations. He is currently serving a 24-year sentence for the murder of his wife Lynette.

The woman is contending that the state of NSW has infringed upon its duty of care by failing to form, put into practice and/or sustain a system for reporting sexual abuse by other students or staff.

In its defense, the state of NSW argues no liability, claiming that all actions by their employees, agents, contractors, and volunteers adhered to professional practices widely accepted within Australia. They assert that any reparations owed should be minimized due to the student’s failure to terminate the relationship or report the matter to the school, her parents, or the police. The state of NSW has retaliated with a countersuit against Dawson, intimating that he had a contractual obligation to abstain from misconduct, specifically encouraging or permitting sexual activity with a student.

They insist that if the woman endured any injury or loss, it was directly due to Dawson’s negligence and his breach of his employment contract, and hence they are soliciting total indemnity should any damages be awarded.

In response to the countersuit and allegations, Dawson has uniformly dismissed all claims.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.