After losing an appeal, Chris Dawson will stand trial for the alleged murder of Lynette Dawson.
Chris Dawson, a former Sydney teacher, will stand trial for the murder of his wife after failing to permanently halt criminal proceedings due to pre-trial publicity concerns.
The 72-year-old contended that extensive pre-trial publicity, including a podcast, had irreparably harmed his chances of a fair trial.
The passage of time between his wife's alleged murder in January 1982 and his trial, he argued, automatically rendered any trial unfair.
Dawson has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife, Lynette Dawson, on or about January 8, 1982, in Bayview, Sydney's north.
In September 2020, the NSW Supreme Court granted a nine-month stay but denied Dawson's application to permanently halt proceedings.
Dawson filed an appeal with the Court of Criminal Appeal, which ruled on Friday that permanent stays should be reserved for the "most extreme cases."
This occurred because the trial judge was powerless to remedy the injustice during the trial, the appeal court stated in a written summary.
While the court agreed that the prejudice caused to Mr Dawson by the pre-trial publicity and delay in this case was "very serious," it stated that it could be "remedied or sufficiently ameliorated" by the careful directions given to the jury by the judge during the trial.
Chief Justice Tom Bathurst also noted that a fair trial does not have to be perfect.
While fairness to the accused is a factor, the public interest in prosecuting those charged with serious criminal offenses is also a factor, he said.
The full reasons for the court's decision have been withheld in the interests of justice, to ensure Mr Dawson receives a fair trial.
A court order also protects the evidence and submissions made during the appeal.