New development for Cleo Smith kidnapper

·1-min read
terence darrell kelly
Terence Darrell Kelly is being taken to prison in Perth by SOG for alleged kidnapping of Cleo Smith, Carnarvon Airport. Pic Colin Murty

The man convicted of kidnapping Cleo Smith in Western Australia’s Pilbara region has lodged an appeal against his sentence.

Terence Kelly was found guilty of snatching the then four-year-old girl from her family’s tent near Carnarvon on October 2021.

The 37-year-old held Cleo at his Carnarvon home for 18 days before she was rescued in a daring early-morning police raid.

terence darrell kelly
Terence Kelly being taken to prison in Perth from Carnarvon Airport in the days following his arrest in November 2021. Picture: Colin Murty

Lawyers for Kelly recently lodged documents with WA’s Court of Appeals, arguing sentencing District Court Judge Julie Wager was wrong to believe Kelly’s methamphetamine use played a significant role in the crime.

They also argued Judge Wager didn’t give the appropriate weight to Kelly’s childhood trauma.

The state’s Department of Public Prosecutions said they do not intent to appeal Kelly’s sentence, forming “the view that appealing the length of sentence imposed would not be successful as the sentence is not manifestly inadequate.

“Consequently, the State will not be lodging an appeal against sentence.”

Cleo Smith immediately following her rescue on November 3, 2021. Picture: WA Police
Cleo Smith immediately following her rescue on November 3, 2021. Picture: WA Police

It was revealed in sentencing that Kelly was under the influence of methamphetamine when he decided to abduct Cleo.

Judge Wager reasoned Kelly had entered Cleo’s family tent to steal valuables, but decided to kidnap the girl due to his drug-induced state.