13 Jun 2012

Coroner rules Azaria Chamberlain killed by dingo

6:22 am on 13 June 2012

An Australian coroner has found that a dingo was responsible for the death of baby Azaria Chamberlain more than three decades ago.

Northern Territory coroner Elizabeth Morris told a packed courtroom on Tuesday that the baby's death at Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru, in August 1980 was the result of being taken and attacked by a dingo.

Azaria Chamberlain's death certificate can now be officially changed from "unknown".

In 1982, the baby's mother Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. A Royal Commission eventually quashed the conviction.

During the inquest - the fourth into the death - lawyers presented fresh evidence detailing 11 serious dingo attacks that had occurred since the last inquest in 1995, the ABC reports.

The Chamberlains' lawyer said that with the additional material the court could confidently come to the finding on the balance of probabilities that the murder theory is preposterous.

Ms Chamberlain-Creighton said on Tuesday she has always maintained that the nine-week-old was taken by a dingo.

"Obviously, we are relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga. We live in a beautiful country, but it is dangerous and we would ask all Australians to be aware of this and take appropriate precautions and not wait for somebody else to do it for them."

Azaria's father, Michael Chamberlain, says it has been a terrifying battle and the result is a chance to put his daughter's spirit to rest.