Cleo snatcher lodges appeal against sentence

·1-min read

The man who kidnapped four-year-old Cleo Smith from her family's tent at a bush campsite in Western Australia has lodged an appeal against his sentence.

Terence Kelly was jailed in April for 13 years and six months for snatching the girl at the Blowholes campsite about 70km north of Carnarvon in the early hours of October 16, 2021, as her parents slept.

Cleo was missing for 18 days before finally being found by police alone in a room at a property in Carnarvon on November 3.

Her kidnapping by the 37-year-old sparked one of the biggest police searches in WA history and made headlines worldwide.

Kelly's lawyer Kate Turtley-Chappel on Tuesday confirmed to AAP her client had lodged an appeal against his sentence in the Court of Appeal.

In the District Court of Western Australia on April 5 Chief Judge Julie Wager described the fear, distress and trauma caused to Cleo and her parents as "immeasurable".

"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," the judge said.

Kelly, who pleaded guilty to taking Cleo, will be eligible for parole after serving 11 years and six months.