Lynette Dawson seen in 1984, court told

A former neighbour has said he saw Lynette Dawson at a Sydney hospital in 1984, more than two years after she disappeared and was allegedly murdered by her husband.

Giving evidence at the murder trial of Christopher Michael Dawson on Friday, Peter Breese said he was certain he saw Mrs Dawson standing three metres away for five to 10 seconds while recovering from a nose job in June 1984.

Mr Breese described a woman who looked like Mrs Dawson, wearing the same round glasses and with the same hairstyle, appearing at the door to his room in Rockcastle Private Hospital, now known as South Pacific Private, in the Sydney suburb of Curl Curl.


The woman was dressed in a nurse’s uniform. She span on her heels, walked away and never came back, he told the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.

“I believe it was Lynette Dawson,” he said by video link from Tweed Heads Police Station.

He told the court he had been anaesthetised for the operation, and couldn’t remember how long afterwards he allegedly saw Mrs Dawson. He said he was “out of it” for the first night, but got brighter as the days passed.

He was also unsure of whether he had been wearing glasses at the time.

Because of illness, Ms Breese was unable to take the stand at the murder trial on Friday. An audio recording of testimony given by her in the Downing Centre Local Courts in February 2020 was played instead.

At the time, she claimed she had seen Mrs Dawson working as a nurse at Rockcastle Hospital while visiting her husband. Mrs Dawson walked past and stood at the nurse’s station, the court heard.

Ms Breese said she had seen a “side shot” of the woman, but was certain she knew her despite no conversation taking place.

“The person I saw, I recognised as Lyn Dawson,” she told the Local Court.

When Ms Breese called Mona Vale police station in 1987 or 1988 after seeing an article on missing persons in the Manly Daily, a constable said Mrs Dawson was “under the pool” in the family home, the court heard.

Ms Breese said she was shocked at the police officer’s claim, criticising the abrupt phone call as unprofessional.

From 1979 to 1984, Mr and Ms Breese lived in a property on Torumba Avenue in Bayview, Sydney, which backed onto the Dawson’s home on Gilwinga Drive.

Dawson, 73, is accused of murdering his wife and disposing of her body in January 1982 so he could have an unfettered relationship with his babysitter and former student, known as JC. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The trial continues.

© AAP 2022