Prosecutors will announce today if they will use The Teacher's Pet in the case against Chris Dawson, & more in News in 5.

— With AAP.

1. Prosecutors will announce today if they will use any information from The Teacher’s Pet in the case against Chris Dawson.

The case accusing former teacher Chris Dawson of killing his wife on Sydney’s northern beaches 37 years ago is expected to return to court.

Lynette Dawson’s disappearance in 1982 was the subject of highly popular investigative podcast series The Teacher’s Pet before her former husband was charged.

Two separate coronial inquests in 2001 and 2003 found that Lyn Dawson was likely murdered. The State Coroner ruled that Chris Dawson was most probably responsible, but he was not charged until December 2018.

Mia Freedman speaks to Hedley Thomas, the host of The Teacher’s Pet. Post continues after audio. 

Lynette disappeared in early January 1982, when she was 33 years old.

At the time, her husband insisted she had left on her own accord, to join a “religious group” on the north coast.

But 36 years later, no one has seen or heard from Lynette, including her two daughters Shanelle and Sherryn. It has also emerged that Chris was not the gorgeous, doting husband he might have appeared to be from the outside. Many people who knew the Dawsons were aware that Chris was, in fact, engaged in a secret sexual relationship with one of his students, Joanne Curtis.

Joanne Curtis with Chris and Lyn Dawson's daughters, Shanelle and Sherryn. Image: The Australian.

An update on the court case on Thursday may answer whether prosecutors will use as evidence any material collected by journalist Hedley Thomas for the podcast.

Prosecutors were granted extra time in February to sift through the material, amounting to more than 100 gigabytes.

It's unclear whether the accused 70-year-old will be present in Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday.


He is currently living on Queensland's Sunshine Coast under strict bail conditions.

Dawson's solicitor has suggested Thomas potentially compromised the case by interviewing witnesses for The Teacher's Pet.

"Not only the accused's case but the prosecution case (too) because what he's done is to impact upon the reliability of witnesses," Greg Walsh told reporters outside court in February.

By asking people to relive their experiences, and divulging new information to witnesses, the "risk of contamination and collusion was a real one", Mr Walsh said.

In April, The Australian announced that episodes of The Teacher's Pet would be "temporarily unavailable in Australia, pending Chris Dawson’s trial for the murder of his wife, Lyn".

The decision was made in the interests of having a fair trial.

According to The Australian, who produced the 16-episode podcast, a letter was sent from the Office of the New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions requesting that the episodes be taken down.

Christopher Dore, the Editor In Chief of The Australian said the publication is “committed to ensuring a fair trial for Mr Dawson. He is entitled to the presumption of innocence."

He added that they will be putting the podcast back online as soon as they can.

2. A Sydney man, who stabbed his wife 14 times in a jealous rage, has been found guilty of murder.

Shahab Ahmed experienced such a jealous rage after reading sexual messages on his wife's phone from their friend that he felt "smoke was coming out of his body" before he stabbed her 14 times.

The 35-year-old's vicious attack on Khondkar Fariha Elahi in their Parramatta unit in February 2017 included slashing at her face - with the tip of the kitchen knife breaking off between two of her teeth.


Ahmed, originally from Bangladesh, had pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murder claiming the partial defence of substantial impairment by abnormality of mind in the form of a depressive illness.

But Justice Monika Schmidt, who presided over his judge-alone trial, on Wednesday found the defence had not been established and convicted him of murder.

Ahmed's pre-trial guilty plea to manslaughter was not accepted.

He left Ms Elahi, 29, dying on a blood-soaked mattress and smoked several cigarettes over 10 minutes.

He changed his Facebook status to "THE END" and switched her profile picture to one of them smiling together.

The judge said Ahmed watched his wife of five-and-a-half years "until she had stopped breathing" before using her thumb to unlock her phone and call triple zero.

He later gave "a chilling description of all that he had done to her" to police.

"The obvious ferocity of his attack ... is quite consistent with deliberate acts and not just a loss of control," Justice Schmidt said.

She described Ahmed's behaviour as "unarguably calculated" and "entirely consistent" with him ensuring Ms Elahi's life could not be saved.

The judge said Ahmed knew his wife was desperate to divorce him and had searched the internet for punishments for adultery.

"When later asked by police why he had not wanted a divorce, it was not his continuing feelings for Ms Elahi about which Mr Ahmed spoke, but his desire not to 'give up' too easily and to 'keep' her, given the considerable investment he had made in her education," Justice Schmidt said.

Ahmed told a psychiatrist the cheating made him so angry he felt "like smoke was coming out of his body".

According to the agreed facts, he first became suspicious of his wife's affair with Omar Khan in April 2015.

A heated argument began on February 18 in 2017 when Ahmed snatched Ms Elahi's phone to read her messages before dragging her into the bedroom and demanding to know the truth.

Ahmed, who also went by the name Russel, later picked up a knife, saying: "If you shout or scream, I'll kill you. Give me access to your phone. I will show that you are lying. After proving that I will go away."

Ms Elahi unlocked her phone but after seeing her ongoing contact with Mr Khan, including recent messages "of a sexual nature", Ahmed began stabbing her repeatedly.

"When the accused was stabbing her, the deceased was saying 'Forgive me Russel, forgive me Russel'," the facts state.

Ahmed showed no obvious reaction to Wednesday's verdict. He'll be sentenced at a later date.


3. An aged care worker has recounted trauma and assaults during the aged care royal commission.

An aged care worker has revealed her trauma after a resident killed a fellow resident at the NSW facility where she worked and her own assault by a dementia patient covered in faeces.

The aged care royal commission sitting in Sydney on Wednesday heard from Kathryn Nobes who was diagnosed with PTSD after a male resident allegedly killed a fellow resident when she was working at the home.

Before the 62-year-old learnt of the death, she saw the male resident with a walking stick in his hand "holding it like a club". There was blood on his knees.

Ms Nobes herself, who has worked at the facility since late 2015, was also subject to abuse and assaults from residents.

One of the most disturbing assaults Ms Nobes experienced involved a male resident putting his hands in his faeces and punching her in the breast.

Ms Nobes documented the assaults and advised her supervisors who, she said, generally "shrugged their shoulders" and said, "that's dementia".

"You were just sort of expected to deal with it," she said.

Ms Nobes, who works part-time at the facility which can't be named for legal reasons, said the conditions had a serious impact on the quality of care and the safety of residents and staff.

She believes staff working with residents who have dementia need better training on how to de-escalate dangerous situations, and staff workloads were also an issue.

The commission earlier heard about another facility, Anglicare's Brian King Garden which prescribed psychotropic drugs to more than half of its residents in July 2018.

Counsel assisting Paul Bolster revealed that 112 of 197 residents at the Castle Hill home were on psychotropic drugs during that time.


The facility's resident manager Richard Farmilo was questioned about commonwealth government funding which is allocated based on the level of care each resident needs.

It was suggested the facility was "gaming the funding" by providing high care to residents who didn't need it to get more funding.

A female resident at the facility - given the pseudonym CO - was put on a pain management plan despite there being no records of CO complaining she was in pain, the commission heard.

CO, who has dementia, was also prescribed the anti-depressant psychotropic medication Mirtazapine before consent was given by her family.

Margaret Ginger, a doctor for Brian King Garden residents, told the commission she prescribed CO the antidepressant without carrying out tests to determine if she had depression.

One of CO's daughters told the commission during a visit to the facility on July 11 - CO's birthday - her mum was asleep and unresponsive in the middle of the day.

CO's other daughter said no one at the facility told her Mirtazapine was an antidepressant but instead advised it would help with her mother's agitation.

"I'm not a doctor, I put my faith in what was happening on their end ... and I felt so bad about it," she said.

The Sydney hearings will continue on May 13.

4. The Sydney swim instructor accused of sexually assaulting 10 young girls remains on bail.

A Sydney swimming instructor accused of sexually assaulting 10 young girls has faced court for the first time since two more of his alleged victims came forward.

Kyle James Henk Daniels, 20, appeared in Manly Local Court on Wednesday on 36 charges, including offences relating to his alleged abuse of students at a Mosman swim school.

kyle daniels
Image: Instagram.

Daniels - supported in court by his parents - was initially charged over the alleged abuse of eight young girls aged five to 10.

He was hit with additional charges relating to two other victims in April.

The offences range from sexually touching a child under 10 to sexual intercourse with two girls aged six and seven, according to court documents.

The alleged incidents occurred between January 2018 and March this year.

Daniels has since resigned from the swim school, police say.

The Balgowlah man, through a lawyer, denied the original charges during a previous court appearance.

"He strongly denies that any touching of these young girls was sexual in any way whatsoever," defence barrister Todd Alexis SC told Manly Local Court on March 20.

"For a young man of 20 years who is a university student, doing what is alleged to have occurred in those circumstances, it is glaringly impossible."

The matter is due back at Downing Centre Local Court on June 20.

Daniels will remain on bail as the brief of evidence detailing his alleged crimes is compiled.

5. Qantas in world-first 'zero waste' flight.

Mini Vegemite servings were out and compostable crop starch cutlery was in on what Qantas says was the world's first zero-waste commercial flight.

Passengers flying from Sydney to Adelaide on Wednesday sipped from water bottles destined for an Adelaide recycling plant and ate meals out of containers made from sugar cane as the Australian carrier trialled an initiative it says will cut 100 million single-use plastics by the end of next year and eliminate 75 per cent of the airline's waste by the end of 2021.


About 1,000 single-use plastic items were substituted with sustainable alternatives or, in the case of individual Vegemite servings, removed altogether as the Qantas group embarked on its aim to reduce an annual mountain of waste equivalent to 80 fully laden Boeing 747 jumbo jets,

All used in-flight products on the two-hour flight from NSW to SA were separated and will be composted, reused or recycled.

Qantas domestic boss Andrew David said that with the cost of landfill rising and on-board waste the No.1 concern raised by corporate customers, there was a strong business case for the initiative.

While there will be an initial expense, Mr David said the move will eventually save money by cutting the cost of waste disposal and would not push airfares higher.

"We want to give customers the same level of service they currently enjoy, but without the amount of waste that comes with it," Mr David said.

"This flight is about testing our products, refining the waste process and getting feedback from our customers."

The Sydney-to-Adelaide flight alone would normally generate 34kg of waste per flight, and 150 tonnes annually.

But the food containers trialled on Wednesday were made from sugar cane pulp leftover from refineries, while the compostable coffee cups were made with plastic made from plant matter rather than oil.

The packaging was supplied by Sydney-based BioPak, which is aiming to prove such environmentally conscious behaviour is viable at corporate scale.

Chief executive Gary Smith said there was still a cost premium to companies but that it was getting lower with scale.

"Many industries can look at this and say 'they did it, it worked and there's no difference to customer experience'," Mr Smith said.

"People seem to think it's difficult and it's hard, but it's not."

Qantas and Jetstar plan to replace 45 million plastic cups, 30 million cutlery sets, 21 million coffee cups and four million headrest covers with sustainable alternatives.

Food waste from international flights cannot be composted due to legal requirements, but Qantas said it will work with suppliers and government to reduce the volume of this waste.

Federal government says aviation contributes to about three per cent of Australia's carbon emissions.

Qantas customers already contribute to the aviation industry's largest carbon offset scheme and the carrier this year will start incentivising travellers to get involved with the scheme by offering frequent flyer points for every dollar spent.

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