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Lead cop in Lynette Dawson disappearance admits he did not take statements from key witnesses

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The former lead detective on Lynette Dawson's disappearance has admitted he failed to take statements from critical witnesses, including people who claimed to have seen the missing mother alive.

Giving evidence in the NSW Supreme Court, Damian Loone denied ignoring the evidence because he believed Chris Dawson had murdered his wife.

Loone handled the investigation for almost two decades.

READ MORE: Dawson 'asked teammate' if he knew anyone who could 'get rid of' wife

After taking over the case in 1998, he read transcripts of an old police interview with Chris Dawson and immediately suspected something grave had happened to Lynette, who had vanished 16 years earlier.

Loone today admitted he approached the case as a homicide from the beginning.

He conceded he failed to take statements from Lynette's mother Helena Simms and others from the Northbridge Baths who remembered Dawson receiving a phone call, which he claimed was his wife saying she needed a few days away.

Loone also acknowledged nothing was formalised after talking to Bayview residents Peter and Jillian Breeze, who reported seeing the missing nurse at Rock Castle Hospital in 1984, two years after she had disappeared.

With the benefit of hindsight, the retired policeman said he should have followed those leads but denied it was deliberate because it didn't support his theory that the mother-of-two had been killed.

Dawson's legal team again pointed the finger at his schoolgirl lover as having a motive, which the seasoned detective disagreed with.

Dawson has pleaded not guilty to murder, maintaining his wife left of her own free will and never returned.

The trial continues.



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