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Coroner rules dingo took Chamberlain baby
Coroner rules dingo took Chamberlain baby

A dingo was responsible for the death of Azaria Chamberlain in 1980, a Northern Territory coroner has found.

Coroner Elizabeth Morris told a packed courtroom on Tuesday that a dingo was to blame for the attack at Uluru, which originally saw Azaria’s mother Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton jailed for murder and her husband Michael given a suspended sentence for being an accessory after the fact.

Both were later exonerated after a royal commission in 1987.

During the inquest both the counsel assisting the coroner, Rex Wild, QC, and the lawyer representing Azaria’s parents, Stuart Tipple, agreed a dingo was the most likely cause of the baby’s death.

The finding means Ms Chamberlain-Creighton, as she is known after remarrying, and her ex-husband Michael Chamberlain have finally won recognition that a dingo killed their child.

A supplied image of the camping area, including Lindy Chamberlain's tent, where her daughter Azaria went missing.

An emotional Ms Chamberlain-Creighton addressed the media in Darwin on Tuesday following the release of the coroner's finding.

"We are relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga," she said.

"No longer will Australia be able to say that dingoes are not dangerous and will only attack if provoked.

"We live in a beautiful country but it is dangerous and we'd ask all Australians to be aware of this and take appropriate precautions."

The inquest was the fourth into the death of Azaria since the nine-week-old child disappeared on a camping trip.

The decision will mean that Azaria’s death certificate will be changed.

In 1988, the Northern Territory Court of Criminal Appeal overturned all convictions against the Chamberlains but a coronial inquest in 1995 delivered an open verdict.

Michael and Lindy Chamberlain leave Alice Springs courthouse, February 1982. Photo: AAP

In the final moments of handing down her finding, an emotional Ms Morris apologised to the Chamberlain family.

Ms Morris said she was satisfied the evidence was “adequate, clear, cogent and exact and excluded all other reasons possible”.

She told the court: “(Azaria) died at Uluru on 17th August 1980 as a result of being attacked and taken by a dingo.”

She told them an amended death certificate was available immediately to them.