Mother jailed in dingo baby mur­der

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Lindy Cham­ber­lain has been found guilty of the mur­der of her nine-week-old daugh­ter af­ter a jury dis­missed her claim that a dingo took the baby.

The court was told that she cut the baby’s throat and dis­posed of the body whilst at a camp­site near Ay­ers Rock.

Mrs Cham­ber­lain, who is ex­pect­ing her fourth child, will now start her manda­tory life term with hard labour af­ter be­ing sen­tenced in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia.

Her hus­band, Michael Cham­ber­lain, was found guilty of be­ing an ac­ces­sory to the mur­der of baby Azaria, but has not yet been sen­tenced.

Azaria Cham­ber­lain went miss­ing from the camp­site in 1980. Her body has never been re­cov­ered but her blood­stained clothes were found and formed the main part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In an ear­lier in­quest the judge ac­cepted the Cham­ber­lains’ claim that a dingo had taken their baby but fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions by Bri­tish pathol­o­gists showed the wounds, in­di­cated by blood­stains on the baby’s clothes, could not have been caused by a dingo and a sec­ond in­ves­ti­ga­tion was started.

Aus­tralian ex­perts dis­agreed with the find­ings and claimed that as­ser­tions Azaria’s throat had been cut were com­pletely un­founded.

Dur­ing the seven-week trial the ju­rors were taken to the Ay­ers Rock site. Among ques­tions raised was the pos­si­bil­ity that a dingo’s jaw would not be strong enough to carry off a baby.

The case has taken the coun­try by storm and be­come known as “Aus­tralia’s mur­der trial of the cen­tury”. It was ex­pected to end with an ac­quit­tal and it is thought that there will now be an ap­peal.

Bar­ris­ter John Bryson said: “An ap­peal is the most ex­pected phe­nom­e­non”.

Four years later on 2 Fe­bru­ary, a mati­nee jacket worn by Azaria was found par­tially buried in a dingo’s lair at Ay­ers Rock – this seemed to back up Lindy Cham­ber­lain’s ver­sion of events.

She was re­leased five days later. The North­ern Ter­ri­tory gov­ern­ment said it was be­cause she had “suf­fered enough”.

In Septem­ber 1988 judges in Dar­win par­doned the Cham­ber­lains. An­other in­quest in 1995 re­turned an open ver­dict. The body of Azaria has never been found. The case in­spired the 1988 film, A Cry in the Dark, star­ring Meryl Streep and Sam Neill.

An opera about the Cham­ber­lains’ story was per­formed at Syd­ney Opera House in Oc­to­ber 2002.

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