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06th Dec 2021

Cleo Smith’s alleged abductor wins adjournment, delaying his case

It has been delayed until January.

The high-profile case of a man charged with abducting four-year-old Cleo Smith has been delayed after his lawyer won an adjournment at a brief hearing today.

Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, was arrested last month after police rescued the girl from a locked house in her coastal hometown of Carnarvon in Western Australia.

She had disappeared from her family’s tent at a campsite 18 days prior, just a short drive from the house she was located in.

Kelly, who has been held in maximum-security custody for over a month, appeared in court today via video link from prison.

He did not speak in court, but his lawyer’s request for an adjournment of seven weeks was granted.

The case has thereby been delayed until the new year, with the accused remanded in custody until his next court appearance on January 24.

Though Kelly was arrested in Carnarvon, he was brought to the state’s capital of Perth by armed riot squad guards on a charter flight the following day.

He has been held in custody there ever since and is charged with multiple offences, including forcibly taking a child under 16.

Cleo’s disappearance and subsequent reunion with her parents attracted global attention.