Dingo baby death case re-opens in Australia


Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton arrives at Darwin Magistrates Court for the first day of the fourth coronial inquest into the disappearance of their daughter Azaria Chamberlain over 30 years ago. The official cause of death is still considered "unknown" but the Chamberlains want the official verdict to say the baby was killed by a dingo.


Daniel Hartley-Allen

More than 30 years after the disappearance of nine-week-old Azaria from a campsite near Australia's Uluru (Ayers Rock), a fourth inquest has opened into her death.

It was sought by Azaria's mother, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, who has always claimed that a dingo took the baby from the tent, the Australian Herald Sun newspaper reports

The news.com.au website describes the saga as "the case that split the nation".

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Chamberlain-Creighton was charged over the death in 1982 and sentenced to life in prison.  Her husband at the time, Michael Chamberlain, was given a suspended sentence after being found guilty of being an accessory after the fact.

The case was reopened in 1986 when an item of Azaria's clothing was found and a royal commission in 1987 exonerated both parents

Chamberlain-Creighton wants this latest inquest in the city of Darwin to have Azaria's cause of death changed from "unknown" to reflect that a dingo killed the little girl, the Herald Sun explains.

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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation says that both of Azaria Chamberlain's parents attended Friday's inquest. 

It reports that the inquest heard evidence of three fatal attacks by dingoes on young children and 14 other significant attacks, which it was argued proved that the baby could have been taken by a dingo.

Chamberlain is described as being "near to tears" when said he had developed paranoia about safety around dingoes since the loss of his daughter.

Afterwards the couple made brief statements to journalists, with Chamberlain-Creighton quoted as saying: "It gives me hope that this time Australians will finally be warned and realise that dingoes are a dangerous animal, and I also hope that this will give a final finding which closes the inquest into my daughter's death," she said.

It is not known when the coroner will deliver the findings.