Crime & Justice

Australian man who held girl captive for 18 days pleads guilty

Sydney, Australia, Jan 24 (EFE).- An Australian man who kidnapped a four-year-old girl and held her captive for 18 days until she was found by the authorities in early November, pleaded guilty on Monday to the charges against him.

Terence Kelly, 36, who is being held at a maximum security prison in the city of Perth, admitted to the kidnapping of Cleo Smith during an appearance via video link before the Magistrates Court in the town of Carnarvon in northwest Australia, public broadcaster ABC reported.

Cleo, who was not physically harmed during her kidnapping, was rescued by the police on Nov. 3 after being found in Kelly’s house.

Kelly had kidnapped her on Oct. 16 from her tent during a camping trip with her mother and stepfather.

After a massive search and rescue operation, the police arrested Kelly on a street in Carnarvon, three kilometers (1.9 miles) from Cleo’s family home and 75 kilometers from the same place from where she was abducted.

Cleo’s family, which has no connection to the alleged kidnapper, issued a statement after her rescue thanking the police and the Caranarvon community for their support and asking for respect for their privacy.

Kelly, who is also charged with assaulting a public official, is due to appear in court on Mar. 25 in Australia to find out the date for his sentencing. EFE


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