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Thread: The Trial of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain

  1. #21
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    Default Re: The Trial of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain

    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 today 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.

    A smiling Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, flanked by her son Aidan, told the waiting media outside a Darwin court that Australia was a “dangerous country” and her story had now been vindicated.

    "We are relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga," she said.
    "No longer will Australia be able to say the 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."
    She also thanked lawyer Stuart Tipple for his "unrelenting persistence, without which we wouldn't have been able to fight so long."

    “I’m here to tell you, you can get justice even when you think all is lost,” her ex-husband Michael Chamberlain said.
    “This has been a terrifying battle," he said.
    "Bitter at times, but now some healing and a chance to put our daughter's spirit to rest."
    "I'm here to tell you, you can get justice even when you think all is lost," he said.
    Mr Chamberlain has picked up Azaria's death certificate, which was changed as a result of the decision.
    The certificate's previous cause of death was stated as unknown; now it reads the death was "as a result of being attacked and taken by a dingo".
    "I cannot express strongly enough how important it is to pursue a just cause, even when it seems to be a mission impossible," he said.
    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.
    Rolling coverage of the Azaria Chamberlain inquest

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

    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.
    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.

    Dingo took Azaria Chamberlain, coroner finds |

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  2. #22
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    LINDY Chamberlain-Creighton says ambitious people pushing political agendas were responsible for falsely convicting her of her daughter's murder.

    Speaking on Macquarie Radio today, Ms Chamberlain-Creighton said she had experienced good and bad elements within the police and media.

    "You've got those who had their own agendas and were determined to push those agendas ... along with some political ambitions and other things like that,'' she said.

    Ms Chamberlain-Creighton said she would reveal the full details of her story in the future.

    "There are a few names and as you know in Australia the truth is not a defence for libel and you have to wait for a few more people to drop-off,'' she said.

    Pursuing a series of legal proceedings to clear her name and to establish what exactly happened to her daughter had cost her and her family a significant amount of money, she said.

    "Before the last two inquests ... we were up to $5.5 million and the crown was over $25 million.''

    Asked if anyone had phoned to apologise to her, Ms Chamberlain-Creighton replied: "You are being funny, aren't you?''

    Northern Territory coroner Elizabeth Morris yesterday ruled that a dingo stole the nine-week-old baby girl from the family's tent at what was then known as Ayers Rock - just as Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton said from the beginning.

    An emotional Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton speaks with A Current Affair’s Tracy Grimshaw about remembering Azaria at the time of her birthday

    "We're relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga," a tearful Mrs Chamberlain-Creighton told reporters outside the Darwin court yesterday.

    She was supported by the family's tenacious solicitor Stuart Tipple, who has stood by them for every one of those 32 years and seemed to have got his own back on all those tasteless dingo teatowels and other souvenirs that have surrounded the notorious case.

    He yesterday wore a striking, but tasteful, dingo tie. "We're relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga," Mrs Chamberlain-Creighton said, thanking Mr Tipple.

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

    "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."

    When she screamed out on the night of August 17, 1980, that a dingo had taken her baby, there was no white man's history of wild dogs killing infants.

    But this fourth inquest into Azaria's death was given a dossier of 14 serious dingo attacks since 1986 on humans, three of them fatal, including nine-year-old Clinton Gage on Fraser Island and two on two-year-old girls in NSW and Victoria.

    Coroner Morris delivered an emotional apology to Mrs Chamberlain-Creighton, her ex-husband Michael Chamberlain and their families, asking that they "please accept my sincere sympathy" and that she was "sorry for your loss".

    The coroner said there was no other case in Australia like that of Azaria Chamberlain.

    "I am satisfied that the evidence is sufficiently adequate, clear, cogent and exact and that the evidence excludes all other reasonable possibilities to find that what occurred on August 17, 1980 was that shortly after Mrs Chamberlain placed Azaria in the tent, a dingo or dingoes entered the tent, took Azaria and carried and dragged her from the immediate area," she said.

    There were only ever two choices - Lindy or the dingo.

    Ms Morris's findings mirror those of the first inquest in 1981 when coroner Denis Barrett found that a dingo took Azaria but added her body was disposed of with human involvement.

    A second coroner's inquest ended with Mrs Chamberlain-Creighton being charged with murder and Michael Chamberlain being charged with being an accessory after the fact.

    Mrs Chamberlain-Creighton, accused of slashing her daughter's throat with nail scissors and making it look like a dingo attack, was convicted in 1982 and sentenced to life in prison.

    She was released in 1986 after Azaria's matinee jacket was found, backing her story that her baby had been wearing one. The Morling commission of inquiry debunked much of the forensic evidence used at trial and her conviction was overturned.

    A third inquest could not determine the cause of death.

    Yvonne Cain, one of the jurors on that 1982 trial, said yesterday's ruling was what the jurors should have delivered.

    "I have been carrying this all my life. Maybe now we can let it go. I am elated, I really am," Ms Cain said. Council assisting the Morling inquiry and top criminal barrister Chester Porter QC said: "I'm very glad to see Mrs Chamberlain get justice at last."

    Michael Chamberlain held up the death certificate that showed his daughter had died after a dingo attack and said the family could now put their "daughter's spirit to rest".

    Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton: 'I was convicted by political agendas' | Perth Now

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  3. #23
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    Default Re: The Trial of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain

    Aside from Julia, only one Australian is recognised instantly by her first name: Lindy.

    Lindy became a synonym for disgust.

    Hopefully, that's over.

    There was never doubt as to the outcome of this Azaria coronial hearing.

    The inquiry by deputy Northern Territory coroner Elizabeth Morris felt like it was stacked in the Chamberlain's favour the moment it was announced.

    Never mind. It's the right result.

    Pastor Michael was a strange guy - seriously strange.

    Especially his bolt into the desert in which he commended God's decision to take his baby.

    But Lindy was the problem.

    She was brighter than Michael.

    The cops most definitely did not like her.

    She came across as sassy, manipulative, provocative, confrontational. But the cops and prosecutors know they won their 1982 conviction on the basis of prejudice, not evidence.

    Thirty-two years is enough. It's over.

    There are fewer conspiracy theories about bin Laden's death than Azaria's.

    READ: Time to put our daughter's spirit to rest

    A fourth - hopefully final - coronial inquest has found a dingo took Azaria on August 17, 1980.

    Coroner Morris is no better informed of what really happened than anyone else. She heard no new evidence.

    The decision changes the baby's death certificate to reflect that she was taken and killed by a dingo.

    It's a balance of probabilities finding that falls, finally, on the right side.

    Some of the cops who were there complain to this day, privately and publicly.

    They really believed Lindy did it, and that Michael helped her conceal the body.

    The cops still burn. They have been accused of misogyny, racism (not believing the Aboriginal trackers who pointed out drag marks of a dingo carrying something heavy), arrogance, ignorance and nastiness.

    Some of it's true.

    They still reckon she did it. More culpable are the NT's Crown prosecutors who should have told the cops to back off.

    They pushed a case that was no more than a disheveled collection of inexcusably thin facts.

    They went to work on the jury and the jury bought it, without ever being provided a motive.

    Lindy was absent from the campsite for five or 10 minutes.

    She did not have the time to murder her baby, clean herself and her car up, tend to her other children, scatter baby blood about and hide the body.

    Even when she returned to the campsite after this slaughter, completely calm, a fellow camper testified she heard the baby cry.

    This was probably when one of the 18 to 20 menacing dingoes that hung around the camp went to the tent and grabbed the baby.

    Police and prosecutors think Michael assisted Lindy by stuffing the baby into his camera bag and taking it to a nearby motel, to which police shifted the grieving parents to make them more comfortable.

    They think Michael slipped out in the night and buried the baby in a red sand dune.

    It is telling that the first police on the scene had no suspicions about the Chamberlains.

    They pitied them and left them, unguarded, in that motel room that night.

    Leaving them alone, police came to believe, gave Michael the opportunity to assist his deranged wife by burying of the body.

    It was good guesswork, not good police work.

    Finding Lindy on side of right | News | NT News | Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia |

  4. #24
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    THOSE at the scene always believed what Lindy said, a wild dog had stolen Azaria and carried her away in its jaws, writes Janet Fife-Yeomans.


    They had never met before fate took them to the top camping area on the east side of what was then known as Ayers Rock on Sunday, August 17, 1980.

    It is said that adversity makes strange bedfellows. In this case, it made firm bedfellows of the families thrown together that night.

    Among them there was Judy and Bill West and their daughter Catherine, travelling from Western Australia; Tasmanians Greg and Sally Lowe; Amy and Max Whittaker and their daughter Rosalie from Melbourne; Edwin Haby and his family from Victoria.

    The most famous campers in the outback that night were the Chamberlains from Mt Isa, pastor Michael, wife Lindy and their children, brothers Reagan, four, and Aidan, six, and baby Azaria, who had packed into their Torana for a holiday.

    Those strangers became a tight-knit group, cemented together by the media spotlight and the decades of legal proceedings that flowed after they heard Lindy's famous cry: "My God, My God, a dingo has got my baby."

    To a person, everyone there that night has supported the Chamberlains, even the head ranger Derek Roff and the first police officer on the scene, Senior Constable Frank Morris. No one ever doubted what Lindy said, that a wild dog had stolen baby Azaria and carried her into the night in its jaws. It is a bizarre case when all the eye witnesses are disbelieved.

    This week the families shared the Chamberlains' relief when Northern Territory Coroner Elizabeth Morris finally confirmed what they had all believed for more than 32 years and handed down her decision - after four inquests, a murder trial and a royal commission - that a dingo had taken Azaria.

    "I'm so pleased that at least they can now say 'this is what happened to our baby'. That they can now say `a dingo took our baby'," Max Whittaker said. "Even so, I heard on the radio (today) people still don't think she was taken by a dingo. It's just ridiculous. Everybody in the campsite knew a dingo took the baby. It's a shame it's taken more than 30 years for the authorities to agree."

    In Esperance, Ms West said the ruling was "wonderful, tremendous" news.

    "We never doubted it was a dingo," Mrs West, 82, whose husband, Bill, died six years ago, said.

    She said she had Wally and Margo Goodwin staying with her three months ago as their first stop on the drive over to the west. It was Mr Goodwin, a keen bird photographer, who found Azaria's torn nappy and jumpsuit among boulders not far from two dingo dens a week after the baby disappeared.

    The Goodwins had been drawn into the net just like the families camping at the rock that night,

    Another family drawn into the legal saga was the Cranwells. Six weeks earlier, their daughter Amanda, then three, had been dragged by a dingo from her parents' car at Ayers Rock

    "It was lovely to see them. We all rang Lindy just to say hello," Ms West said.

    "I first met Lindy when I went down to share the coffee machine with her (at Ayers Rock) and her baby was lying in a cot and she picked her up.

    "I said 'no, no, don't pick her up, let her rest', and Lindy said 'her name is Azaria, it means blessed of God'. How could I ever think that anyone who named their baby that could hurt their baby?"

    Not only that, but the Wests had learned firsthand the dangers of the dingoes around the rock.

    The afternoon of Azaria's death, a dingo had grabbed their daughter Catherine's elbow as she sat in their tent. It only reluctantly let go when her mother chased it off.

    It was Mrs West who had heard the growl of a dog from the direction of the Chamberlains' tent minutes before Lindy cried out that Azaria had been taken.

    Over at the barbecue about 20 to 25m west of the Chamberlains' tent, Sally Lowe heard the cry of a small baby coming from the Chamberlains' tent. It was sharp and loud enough to stop the conversation.

    Ms Lowe has given evidence a number of times that moments later as Lindy went to check on Azaria, she cried out that a dingo had the baby.

    "I don't even have to be there to see Greg Lowe say 'you bloody beauty'. He'll be dancing around the kitchen in Tasmania," Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton said last week when asked what the coroner's decision meant to everyone involved.

    Campers never doubted dingo did it | adelaidenow

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