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A former neighbor of Chris Dawson has told his murder case that she and her husband saw Lynette Dawson dressed in “a nurse’s uniform” more than two years after the 33-year-old mother of two went missing.
But Jill Breese said that when she called the police to report the alleged sighting in 1987 or 1988, she was told the missing woman was “under the pool” at Dawson’s Bayview home.
Between 1979 and 1984, Mrs. Breese and her husband Peter lived in a building on Torumba Avenue in Bayview, Sydney, adjacent to the Dawson’s home on Gillwinga Drive.
The NSW Supreme Court heard Friday that both she and Mr Breese believed they had seen Lynette Dawson at Rockcastle Private Hospital, now South Pacific Private, in the Sydney suburb of Curl Curl, in June 1984.
Peter Breese was recovering from a nose job and some time after he awoke from his sedation, he saw a woman ten feet away for five to ten seconds.
He said the woman wore the same round glasses and haircut as Mrs Dawson, and was dressed in a nurse’s uniform.
The woman turned, walked away and never came back. “I believe it was Lynette Dawson,” he told the court, though he wasn’t sure if he was wearing glasses at the time.
One couple claimed they saw Lyn Dawson in her nurse’s uniform more than two years after the 33-year-old mother of two (above) disappeared in January 1982, never to be seen again.
When Jill Breese called the police about 1987 to report her alleged sighting of Lynette Dawson, she was told the missing woman was “under the pool” of the family home in Bayview.
Ex-neighbor Jill Breese claims she saw Lyn Dawson ‘dressed in a nurse’s uniform’ two years after she disappeared while visiting her husband who was recovering in hospital
An audio recording of Jill Breese, who was too ill to testify, was played to which she testified in 2020, claiming she had seen Ms Dawson while visiting her husband in the hospital.
Ms. Breese said she saw a side shot of a woman walking by and standing at the nursing station.
“I recognized the person I saw as Lyn Dawson,” she said in evidence.
When she called the Mona Vale Police Department to report the sighting after seeing a Manly Daily article about missing persons, an officer told her that Lyn was “under the pool” at the family home.
Ms Breese said she was shocked by the police officer’s claim: ‘it was very abrupt, I didn’t think it was very professional’.
Christopher Michael Dawson, 73, is charged with 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 pleaded not guilty to the charge
His defense case is that Lyn left her marriage to Chris Dawson of her own accord and abandoned her two young daughters, then four and two years old.
Witnesses have stated that they saw or told Lynette that Chris Dawson shoved her face in the mud during an argument at the pool of the Bayview house (above) before the area was paved
Prosecutors allege Chris Dawson killed his wife Lynette (above the couple together) after 11 years of marriage to pave the way for his relationship with schoolgirl babysitter JC
A woman who had been married to the suspect’s older brother, Peter, told Friday at trial how her own mother had left her three children in 1960.
Lynelle Elizabeth Dawson had been married to Peter Dawson until their divorce in 1980, four years older than Chris Dawson and his twin brother Paul.
Lynelle, who had known and loved Lynette Dawson, and still had a close relationship with Chris Dawson, said her mother – whose maiden name was Marcia Botham – came to talk to her when she was only nine years old.
Lynelle had a six-year-old brother and a four-year-old sister and had taken her out to the backyard on October 17, 1960 for a “chat” and told her, “Lynelle, I don’t want to go,” to which the girl replied, “Mom, go not’.
Lynette Dawson with one of her daughters on the Bayview property after the house was built but before the pool was installed
But Marcia had left the family’s home in Beverley Hills and moved to a boarding house in another southern Sydney suburb, 7 km away, where Lynelle had visited her.
On the last visit, Lynelle had taken a blue bus on her tenth birthday to meet Marcia, who gave her gifts and bought her a milkshake before seeing her on the bus home again.
Lynelle then received “a note” where Marcia said she couldn’t see her daughter for their next scheduled weekend visit and when her father Phillip Hatter called the guest house, he was told that Marcia had already left.
No one in the family has ever seen Marcia again.
Mr Hatter went out of his way to find his wife, placed ads in the newspaper and his sister moved in to care for the three children, with Aunt Norma “becoming a substitute mother that everyone loved.”
The former wife of Peter Dawson (pictured above with his accused brother Chris) told the court about how her own mother had abandoned her family and fled to New Zealand
Lyn Dawson (left, on her wedding day) was ‘under the pool’ police alleged against a neighbor, while Chris Dawson’s (right) former sister-in-law said she didn’t believe he was capable of killing or harming Lynette
Lynelle said that Peter Dawson became aware of the story when they became a couple and then the Dawson family, including Chris and Lynette.
She said that her father and aunt “never stopped looking” but that they were both now deceased and in 2018 Lynelle decided to conduct her own search and “bingo” within ten days she had an answer.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said, describing a death certificate that had arrived in the mail to Marcia Sanders, who had the same birth date as her mother, and which bore the maiden name Marcia Botham.
The document indicated that her mother had been married twice since then, but Lynelle said her voice broke as she testified in court, “her death certificate says no children, no children, that goes without saying what a person can do.” .
A woman who was once married to Chris Dawson’s older brother said that both Chris and Lyn (above) knew the story of how their own mother abandoned her three children and never saw them again.
Cross-examined by Chris Dawson’s attorney Pauline David, Lynnelle said she didn’t believe he was capable of smothering or killing Lynette, or calling her “fatso” or “a bitch.”
“I thought I was Chris Dawson, kind, caring, a team player. I think (Lyn) was a good mother and a caring mother,” Lynelle Dawson said.
On Christmas Day 1981, when Chris Dawson missed the family reunion because he slept with schoolgirl babysitter JC with his twin brother, Lynelle Dawson found that Lynette was “trying to be normal…was fuzzy and a little disoriented and I could tell she was stressed.”
The trial will resume on Tuesday.