Former teammate tells court Chris Dawson asked if he knew anyone who could ‘get rid of’ his wife

Sydney’s criminal underbelly is attracted Chris Dawson’s murder case as a former Newtown Jets player claimed he was once asked to help “get rid of” Lynette Dawson.

Today’s witness was Robert Silkman, a convicted criminal who has mingled with Sydney’s underworld, which includes former football teammate and drug trafficker Paul Hayward and Hayward’s brother-in-law, mobster and murderer Neddy Smith.

In October 1975, the Newtown Jets—the soccer team Chris and Paul Dawson played for—traveled to the Gold Coast for a season-end trip, where they watched the Thrilla boxing in Manila between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Robert Silkman is led to a witness room at the Bankstown Police Station, from which he testifies in the murder trial of Chris Dawson. (Nick Moir)

On the plane to Sydney, Silkman claimed to have received a bizarre request from Dawson.

“I was sitting there and Chris had come over and knelt down and asked if I knew anyone who could get rid of his wife,” Silkman told the court.

“I said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘Forever?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Look, I’ll talk to you when I get back to Sydney’ and that was the end of the conversation.”

Silkman said he turned to another friend in shock and said, “You wouldn’t believe what Chris just said to me.

“And he said, ‘What?’ And I laughed and said, “Oh, he wanted to know if I could use someone to get rid of his wife.”

“I think Ray’s response was ‘what’ and I said, ‘Yeah, he’s fucking crazy.'”

Chris Dawson leaves the Supreme Courts in Sydney on June 10.
Chris Dawson is on trial for the alleged murder of his wife Lynette in 1982. (Louise Kennerley)

Lynette disappeared just over six years later, but the hit-man charge was not passed to police until 2018 after the Teacher’s Pet podcast was distributed worldwide and weeks before Dawson was charged with murder.

Silkman was grievous about his criminal record, including theft and burning down a friend’s company.

At one point, he refused to answer questions until he was given immunity and then admitted to providing false evidence in the past to avoid going to jail.

Former teammate tells court Chris Dawson asked if he knew anyone who could 'get rid of' his wife
Chris Dawson and Lynette Dawson on their wedding day. (Delivered)

He denied that he was seeking the $200,000 reward for information that would solve Lynette’s disappearance.

Silkman told the judge that if he ever got the money, he would donate it to fight violence against women.

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