Terence Darrell Kelly, who kidnapped a four-year-old girl in Australia in 2021 and held her in his home for 18 days, has been sentenced. The man, after a trial followed by the world media, was sentenced to 13 years and 6 months in prison.
The verdict was delivered Wednesday in the Western District Court Australia in Perth. Terence Darrell Kelly, 37, pleaded guilty to abducting a four-year-old girl in 2021 and keeping her in his home for 18 days. The court sentenced him to 13 years and 6 months in prison. The convict will be able to apply for parole not earlier than after 11 years of serving his sentence.
Kidnapping of four-year-old Cleo Smith
The girl disappeared on October 16, 2021 from her family broken tent in Macleod, about 900 kilometers north of Perth. When her parents woke up in the morning, the tent was open and the girl and her sleeping bag were gone.
The police search, which initially covered only a few square kilometers around the disappearance, later expanded to cover the entire country. The state government has offered a reward of A$1 million (equivalent to over four million zlotys) for information leading to the finding of the four-year-old. The military was also involved.
On November 3, 2021, after 18 days of searching, officers found Cleo Smith in the bedroom of a house in Carnarvon. She was in good condition and returned to her parents. On the same day, Terence Darrell Kelly was arrested. The man was arrested in Perth and pleaded guilty in January 2022.
Main photo source: Western Australia Police