Mother clamours for fourth 'dingo baby' inquest

There have been three inquests, a trial, two appeals and a royal commission – but the legal saga sparked by the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain 30 years ago is not yet over. Australian authorities are reportedly planning a fourth inquest, following demands by Azaria’s parents for official recognition of the fact she was taken by a dingo.

The most recent inquest, in 1995, returned an open verdict, infuriating Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, who were both convicted in relation to Azaria’s death. The nine-week-old baby vanished from a campsite near Uluru (then called Ayers Rock) in 1980, triggering Australia’s most celebrated murder case. The convctions were overturned eight years later, with both parents exonerated.

The Northern Territory Attorney-General, Delia Lawrie, said yesterday that she had asked officials to review the case. Local media reported that a new inquest was expected to be held early next year.

Azaria’s parents want her death certificate changed to state that a dingo killed her. Mr Chamberlain said his lawyers were collating evidence – including details of attacks by dingoes on humans – which he was confident would lead to a new coronial finding. “It’s justice for Azaria,” he told ABC radio. “Her spirit does not rest because the truth was never told about how she actually died.”

Mrs Chamberlain-Creighton, who has remarried, released an open letter in August, on the 30th anniversary of Azaria’s disappearance, calling for a new inquest. Convicted of murder and sentenced to life, she spent three years in jail but was released after the baby’s matinee jacket was found at the base of Uluru, near a dingo’s lair. Her husband had been convicted of being an accessory to murder.

Since 1980 there have been at least six dingo attacks on humans, including one in which a nine-year-old boy, Clinton Gage, died on Queensland’s Fraser Island in 2001. Mr Chamberlain said: “They confuse human prey with animal prey, and look upon them as fair game, no matter what they are, whether a kangaroo, a calf, a lamb, a wallaby or a baby.”

He called on the coroner to investigate the handling of the case – considered one of Australia’s worst miscarriages of justice – by Northern Territory authorities. “There were many unfortunate things that happened … whether by ignorance or a kind of plan to take us, come hell or high water,” he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower