Terence Darryl Kelly was charged with abducting four year old Cleo Smith in November 2021, after she disappeared from her families tent during the middle of the night in October 2021.
Cleo was held for 18 days in Terence’s house in Carnarvon, Western Australia following her disappearance. She was located in a locked room within the premises.
There had been no sight of her despite vigorous search efforts which included land, air and sea searches.
Terence’s house was only a few streets away from where Cleo resides with her family.
On Monday 24 January 2022, Terence appeared before the Carnarvon Magistrates Court by videolink and plead guilty to child stealing.
He has been held in the Casuarina Prison, a maximum security facility in Perth since two days after Chloe was discovered in his home in November 2021.
Terence’s matter was adjourned to Western Australia’s District Court in March 2022, where he will eventually be sentenced following his plea in court. The maximum penalty in Western Australia for child stealing is 20 years imprisonment.
The court had not anticipated Terence’s admission of guilt on Monday but it will perhaps provide some closure to Cleo’s family.
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