Ron Bellingham
Ron Bellingham Emma Channon

Put case 'to rest'

SHE'S the woman half the world loves to hate and the other half hates to love, with her 1980s bowl-cut and her endless array of floral frocks - but the fourth inquest into the Lindy Chamberlain case, as she was known at the time, could clear her name.

Mayor Ron Bellingham, who stood as a witness to her trial, said he hoped the Coroner could finally put the case to rest.

"I was a witness at the first trial and I guess, on reflection, I was so certain that the Chamberlains were innocent, and I can remember being so devastated she was found guilty," Cr Bellingham said.

"The first Coroner, Barrett, he got it absolutely right.

"Whilst it didn't fit in with some people's agenda, or sit well with some people, he found that the dingo took the baby, but there probably was some human intervention after that," he said.

Cr Bellingham was staying at Uluru with his family at the time Azaria Chamberlain went missing.

He said he had had a number of run-ins with dingos while he was there.

"Our observations there were that dingos were surprisingly aggressive and I am not generally intimidated by dogs," Cr Bellingham said.

"Number one, by the number of dingos there were and the fact they had no fear of human beings, I had no doubt whatsoever that a dingo could have taken the baby."

He said while walking along the track on the outskirts of Uluru, a dingo had approached his family.

"I tried to shoo it away, but it didn't take a backward step and then it latched itself to a jumper my daughter had around her waist at the time," he said.

Cr Bellingham said he thought the case needed to be closed, even if not everyone agreed. I think it should be put to rest, even though it may not sit comfortably with some people.

I think we should go back to the first decision by the first Coroner because he was absolutely right in his interpretation of what happened," Cr Bellingham said.

Coroner Elizabeth Morris revealed she would not be making any decisions immediately, and it could be some time before the final report was released to the public.

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