Geoff V. SHATTLES
AKA Shitty Shattles, Shakey
Late of Central Coast, NSW ( Aged Care facility )
NSW Police College – Penrith – Class # 029
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # 7398
Rank: Commenced Training at Redfern Academy on Monday 30 June 1952 ( aged 27 years, 4 days )
Probationary Constable- appointed 11 August 1952 ( aged 27 years, 1 month, 16 days )
Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Constable 1st Class – appointed ? ? ?
Detective – appointed ? ? ?
Senior Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Leading Senior Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Sergeant 3rd Class – appointed 8 March 1968
Sergeant 2nd Class – appointed ? ? ?
Sergeant 1st Class – appointed ? ? ?
Inspector – appointed ? ? ? ( YES )
Chief Inspector – appointed ? ? ?
Superintendent – appointed ? ? ?
Chief Superintendent – appointed ? ? ?
Final Rank = ?
Stations: ?, North Sydney – Stn Sgt ( 1978 ), Manly, Forestville, Frenchs Forest, Mona Vale ( 29 Division )( Inspector )( 1984 ), ?
Service: From 30 June 1952 to ? ? ? = ? years Service
Awards: No Find on Australian Honours system
Born: Friday 26 June 1925
Died on: Monday 10 November 2020
Age: 95 years, 4 months, 15 days
Event location: ?
Event date: ?
Funeral date: ? ? ? TBA
Funeral location: ? TBA
any Future Wake location: ??? TBA
any Future Wake date: ??? TBA
( Due to current Govt. restrictions on ‘Gatherings’ due to Corona19 Virus Pandemic, some families may wish to have a Memorial Service / Wake with friends and family at a later date )
Funeral Parlour: ? TBA
Buried at: ?
Memorial / Plaque / Monument located at: ?
Dedication date of Memorial / Plaque / Monument: Nil – at this time ( November 2020 )
SHAKEY is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance *NEED MORE INFO
FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.
PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal
May they forever Rest In Peace
Teacher’s Pet podcast: from the archives, friend’s cry for justice for Lyn Dawson
A formal complaint from a friend of Lyn Dawson that NSW police were failing to investigate her suspicious disappearance from Sydney’s northern beaches has been discovered decades later in a sealed file in state archives.
Susan Strath was so disturbed by the inaction of police that she wrote to the NSW Ombudsman’s office and begged the independent government watchdog to intervene.
Ms Strath’s complaint of 1985, three years after Lyn went missing, documented her alarm that a woman could vanish without officers interviewing work colleagues or friends, or conducting any serious investigation.
She pointed out that shortly before Lyn went missing her husband Chris — a teacher and former star footballer — was widely known to be in an intense affair with a teenage schoolgirl who had been one of his students.
“Her husband was so sure she would not return, his girlfriend was moved in the following week,” she wrote.
“He has now married his schoolgirl lover, has a beautiful home and established family.
“Everything seems too easy. He got exactly what he wanted and his wife, who wasn’t up to standard, has vanished from the face of the earth, having no further contact with family or friends.
“It doesn’t seem possible that a person can be swept under the rug and forgotten.”
The ombudsman’s file on the complaint was discovered by The Australian in storage with NSW State Archives and Records after lengthy investigations for podcast series The Teacher’s Pet and is detailed in a new episode, released today.
The ombudsman’s office had said no trace of the complaint could be found and that records would have been destroyed.
But after archives staff located the file for The Australian, the ombudsman’s office agreed to waive restrictions that would have prevented the documents being released for 90 years from when they were created.
Among the documents was Mr Dawson’s long-lost handwritten statement to police of August 1982, in which he blamed his marital problems on his wife’s credit card spending but did not mention his teenage lover.
Mr Dawson’s statement had disappeared along with the rest of the separate police file in the 1990s and was not available to the former investigating officer, Damian Loone, or to two coroners who examined the case.
Despite Ms Strath’s complaint, neither police nor the ombudsman’s office interviewed Mr Dawson’s schoolgirl lover, Joanne Curtis, or numerous other witnesses including fellow teachers, neighbours, family members and friends at the time.
Senior police who were forwarded the complaint insisted there was a satisfactory investigation when Lyn disappeared and there was nothing to indicate foul play or suspicious circumstances.
It would be another five years before Sydney homicide detectives looked at the case, acting on information from Mr Dawson’s former teenage lover, Ms Curtis, after they split up.
The two coroners later found, in 2001 and 2003, that Mr Dawson murdered his wife. He has not been charged and maintains his innocence.
The sealed ombudsman’s file includes correspondence about Ms Strath’s 1985 complaint, showing Lyn’s disappearance was brought to the attention of the highest levels of the NSW police force.
Sue Thompson, an ombudsman investigator, referred Ms Strath’s complaint directly to then-police commissioner John Avery. The commissioner was kept informed of the progress of inquiries.
“This is a bit of a sensitive complaint. It’s about the alleged disappearance of a woman some three years ago and allegation that the police may have failed to properly investigate,” Ms Thompson wrote in a file note.
Ms Strath noted in her complaint that she last spoke to Lyn on Friday, January 8, 1982, at the childcare centre where they both worked. Lyn and her husband had returned from marriage counselling that day, with Lyn expressing excitement that their marital difficulties would be resolved, she wrote. Lyn disappeared the next day, without another word being heard from her.
“The next day what happened????” Ms Strath wrote.
She noted Lyn’s inability to drive, her exceptional devotion to her two young daughters, then aged four and two, and her love of her Bayview home, which was worth more than $250,000 when she vanished.
Ms Strath also noted Lyn had no interest in religion and didn’t attend church — this was a response to her husband’s claims that she apparently went off with a religious group.
“I would like to know what the police have done in the matter? Why weren’t her workmates interviewed as to her last 24 hours?
“I’m concerned that I was one of the last to see her on the Friday but was never questioned by the police. Can a person just disappear and it be accepted?”
A senior officer, Inspector Geoff Shattles ( # 7398 ), noted in response that Lyn’s parents, Helena and Len Simms, had not “ever hinted” at concerns of foul play.
“Further to this, the brother of the missing person is a senior constable in the NSW police force and he at no time contacted police at this station in regard to any suspicions.”
A chief superintendent wrote that he was “satisfied all avenues of investigation were covered at the time”.
The file shows that as a result of Ms Strath’s complaint, she was visited in 1985 by a detective, who also contacted one of her colleagues at the childcare centre. Inspector Shattles also spoke to Lyn’s mother.
But there was still no questioning of the former schoolgirl lover or many other key witnesses. In the course of its preliminary investigation, the ombudsman’s office had Mr Dawson’s 1982 handwritten statement to police about his wife’s disappearance, in which he lied about going away “to be by myself” over Christmas 1981 when he had gone to Queensland with Ms Curtis.
Mr Dawson at the end of his statement made an unusual comment — that he was “being advised on procedure by Sergeant Brian Gardner ( #8841 ), Manly Detectives”.
Mr Gardner was an influential senior figure of the Belrose Rugby League Club, where Mr Dawson and his twin brother Paul were joint captains and coaches. Known to colleagues as “Smacka”, Brian has since died.
Ms Strath believed Mr Dawson’s celebrity status as a former Newtown Jets rugby league star protected him from scrutiny.
Ultimately the ombudsman’s office concluded “no further action is necessary” after informing Ms Strath of the police position.
NSW Ombudsman Michael Barnes yesterday said the office had limited jurisdiction and resources in 1985 and its response was “satisfactory”.
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