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New Dawson Witnesses Can’t Testify

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

Witnesses who came forward because of publicity surrounding the Christopher Michael Dawson murder trial were dismissed by the court.

On Wednesday, Judge Ian Harrison said the new witness statements came too late during the trial and that a line had to be drawn somewhere to close the case.

“I just think it has to end,” he said.

Dawson, now 73, is accused of murdering his wife, Lynette, and disposing of her body in January 1982 so that he could have an unfettered relationship with a woman known as JC, his babysitter and former student. He has stated that he is not guilty of the charges.New Dawson Witnesses Can't Testify

He faces a judge-only trial.

The NSW Supreme Court judge noted that the new evidence, which included statements of what allegedly happened at a Shirley Bassey concert in 1969, didn’t seem to add much to the Crown’s case against Dawson.

During the concert, a woman claims Lynette said she fell down a flight of stairs. Another friend claimed that Dawson, her boyfriend at the time, had pushed her.

Crown Prosecutor Craig Everson SC also told the court that additional witnesses had “come out” due to the trial, with one making a statement to police after calling Crime Stoppers.

Former Detective Sergeant John Pendergast of Dee Why Police Station in Sydney has testified to how he helped investigate Mrs. Dawson’s disappearance in 1999.

Pendergast said he was never formally appointed to assist in the 1999 investigation, but junior detective Damien Loone helped interview JC and Dawson’s relatives.

He said it was unusual for the case not to have been referred to the NSW Police Force homicide unit instead.

He also admitted that he knew JC before the investigation and took her to many interesting places in the inquiry. This included Chris and Lynette’s childhood home in Bayview, Sydney, where radar scans were done in April 1999 to see if anything was buried beneath the pool.

Mr. Pendergast said he had no personal interest in the case. He rejected the claims of Dawson’s attorney, Pauline David, that he simply took care of JC’s evidence and said he corroborated her statements where he could.

He also denied suggestions that an improper investigation could lead to an innocent man being charged.

“That has been taken to an extreme level. I don’t fully agree with that, as there would be a lot of safeguards to prevent that,” he said.

He admitted that he was not aware of previous police statements made by JC in 1990 that contradicted certain claims she had made in 1999.

These discrepancies include the date Dawson drove to pick her up from Southwest Rocks in January 1982 before moving to the house in Bayview and details of incidents where he was allegedly physically abusive toward her during their later marriage.

The hearing continues.

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