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05th Apr 2023

Man jailed for 13 years after kidnapping Cleo Smith

Kat O'Connor

Cleo Smith was abducted in 2021.

The man who kidnapped 4-year-old Cleo Smith has been jailed for 13 years and six months.

The Australian girl was held captive by Terence Kelly for 18 days in 2021.

Cleo was camping with her family shortly before Kelly abducted her. He kidnapped the young girl while her family was sleeping.

Her mum then woke up to find her little girl missing on October 16th, 2021.

After weeks of searching, police found Cleo alone in a house on November 3rd.

The property was just minutes away from her own family home.

Cleo was not physically hurt, but her mum Ellie said she faced many struggles after the kidnapping, including nightmares.

Shortly after discovering Cleo, police arrested Terence Kelly.

According to 7 News, Judge Julie Wager said Kelly was at risk of reoffending.

She stated, “You pose a high risk of seriously psychologically harming any future victim in the event that you did re-offend.”

She also said what happened to Cleo was traumatic.

“Eighteen days without contact or explanation, and with hours totally on her own and no access to the outside world, would have been very traumatic.

“In the world of a four-year-old, one day is a very long time. In the world of a four-year-old, 18 days is a very, very long time indeed.”

Kelly has been diagnosed with a severe personality disorder. It is believed the kidnapper was neglected as a child.

He will be eligible for parole after 11 years and six months.

Related Links:

Man pleads guilty to kidnapping 4-year-old Cleo Smith

Cleo Smith’s mother gives update on how her daughter is coping since abduction

How missing 4-year-old Cleo Smith was found by police