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Dawson asked teammate if he knew anyone who could 'get rid of' wife

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Sydney's criminal underbelly has been drawn into Chris Dawson's murder trial 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 mixed with Sydney's underworld including former football teammate and drug trafficker Paul Hayward and Hayward's brother-in-law, gangster and murderer Neddy Smith.

In October 1975, the Newtown Jets – the football team Chris and Paul Dawson played for – travelled to the Gold Coast for an end-of-season trip where they watched the Thrilla in Manila boxing bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

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

"Sitting there and Chris had come along and kneeled down and asked me did I know anyone that could get rid of his wife," Silkman told the court.

"I was taken aback.

"I said, 'What do you mean?' I said, 'For good?' And he said, 'Yeah'. 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 was laughing and said, 'Oh, he wanted to know if I could use someone to get rid of his wife.'

"I think Ray's reaction was 'what' and I said 'Yeah, he's f—— mad.'"

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Chris Dawson leaving the Supreme Courts in Sydney June 10.

Lynette vanished just over six years later but the hitman allegation wasn't passed on to police until 2018 after the Teacher's Pet podcast had gone global and weeks before Dawson was charged with murder.

Silkman was grilled about his criminal record, including theft and burning down a friend's business.

At one point he refused to answer questions until he was granted immunity and after that happened, he admitted to giving false evidence in the past to avoid going to jail.

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

Silkman told the judge if he ever were to receive the money, he'd donate it to fight violence against women.

The trial continues.



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