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Fraser Is case helps Chamberlain

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton and her husband Rick Creighton in Darwin.
Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton and her husband Rick Creighton in Darwin. Xavier La Canna

EVIDENCE about a boy's death on Fraser Island has helped clear the name of Lindy Chamberlain and form the coronial finding that her baby Azaria was taken by a dingo at Uluru in 1980.

"No longer will Australia be able to say that dingos are not dangerous and only attack if provoked," Mrs Creighton-Chamberlain told the press.

In one of the most famous trials in Australian history, Mrs Chamberlain was convicted in 1982 of murdering her nine-week-old baby despite protesting Azaria had been taken from the campsite by a dingo.

After fighting for more than 30 years to prove her innocence, a fourth inquest yesterday found the baby had died as a result of an attack by one of the animals known to roam the campsite at that time.

During the inquest, Coroner Elizabeth Morris heard evidence of hundreds of dingo attacks against humans on Fraser Island, including the mauling that killed nine-year-old Clinton Gage in 2001.

Clinton was attacked by two dingoes near Waddy Point after going for a walk with his seven-year-old brother, who was also injured by the animals.

The young boy's death led to more than 30 dingoes being culled by rangers, and was used in evidence during the inquest.

Yesterday, coroner Ms Morris ruled that the new evidence relating to dingo attacks excluded all other reasonable possibilities, and Azaria's death was the result of being taken by a dingo.

Lindy Creighton-Chamberlain and her family welcomed the verdict, which fell on the day after what would have been Azaria's 32nd birthday.

But Save The Fraser Island Dingo wildlife spokesman Ray Revill refused to agree that the animals were dangerous.

"A lot more people are injured by domestic dogs, and more people are taken by crocodiles than hurt by dingoes," he said.

"It's high time people left dingoes and the Chamberlains alone."

Dingo advocate Jennifer Parkhurst said the management of dingoes by parks authorities may have been a factor in the deaths of both Azaria and Clinton.

"Just weeks before the Chamberlain incident and the Gage incident, dingoes' food supplies were stopped or interfered with," she said.

Topics:  court evidence fraser island gympie lindy chamberlain

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