Azaria Chamberlain’s father Michael dies

Michael Chamberlain, whose baby daughter Azaria was taken from the family tent during a camping trip at Uluru in 1980
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Michael Chamberlain, whose baby daughter Azaria was taken from the family tent during a camping trip at Uluru in 1980 making headlines across the world, has died at the age of 72.

He had been battling acute leukaemia.

Chamberlain, who was born in New Zealand in 1944, moved to Australia in 1964 and married his former wife, Lindy, in 1969.

The pair were thrust into the spotlight when their nine-week-old daughter Azaria was snatched from a tent during a family holiday in 1980.

Both were charged over their daughter’s disappearance and death and the case is regarded as one of the most sensation in Australian legal history. Chamberlain received an 18-month suspended sentence for being an accessory after the fact.

Chamberlain spent more than 30 years rallying against what he says was a “gross injustice” and both he and Lindy were eventually cleared over the disappearance after years of trials, inquests and extreme scrutiny and public debate.

By 1990 the couple divorced and both went on to remarry. Chamberlain earned a PhD in education, became a teacher and wrote several books including Heart of Stone: Justice for Azaria.

It was not until the fourth inquest in 2012 that it was determined Azaria was killed by a dingo.

“It was one of the worst perversions of justice and forensic science in Australian history,” he said in 2014. “We had gone as babes in the woods. A Catholic lawyer described us as lambs to the slaughter.

“We had lived by the credo that if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. It was dead wrong.”

Chamberlain had three other children with Lindy — Reagan, Aidan and Kahlia, as well as Zahra with his wife, Ingrid Bergner.

Where were you when you heard about the Azaria Chamberlain case in 1980? Share your thoughts with us.

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