It is a case which caused much speculation the world over when it happened in 1980. Now, it has been emerged that police did not believe Lindy Chamberlain when she told them that a dingo had taken her baby daughter Azaria.
Nowever, nor did officers think that the mother should have been jailed for murder. Ms Chamberlain was imprisoned for life after being found guilty of murdering Azaria, after she shouted “the dingo’s got my baby” when she found that her baby, aged nine weeks, was missing while on a family camping trip at Uluru, Australia.
Now, the release of official cabinet documents from 1986 shows that the law was changed so her case could be looked at again, because authorities didn’t believe she had murdered her baby.
After the little girl vanished, her bloodied clothing and a nappy were found half buried close to a dingo’s den. However, the jury believed prosecutors when they said the mother had actually stabbed her baby with scissors in the family car, before staging a dingo attack to cover her own back.
Six years later, Azaria’s little jacket was found inside a dingo lair, after a tourist fell to his death in the area. By this point, she had served three yeas in jail, while her husband Michael had been handed an 18-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of being an accessory.
Former Northern Territory chief minister Stephen Hatton said that officials did not believe the dingo story, and they did not think she should have been jailed for murder. New laws were introduced so the case could be reviewed.
A retrial found that the condition of the jacked could shed some light on what had happened. Eventually, both Mr and Mrs Chamberlain were pardoned and a four inquest, held in 2012, found that Azaria had been attacked and taken by a dingo. The couple has received $1.3 million in compensation for false imprisonment.