Crime & Justice

Man convicted of kidnapping Australian girl for 18 days appeals sentence

Sydney, Australia, May 9 (EFE).- The kidnapper of Cleo Smith, a four-year-old girl whom he kept locked in a room full of dolls for 18 days in Australia, appealed his sentence of 13 years and six months in prison.

The lawyers representing Terence Kelly, who pleaded guilty during the trial, said the judge did not take into account “the childhood trauma” of his client when considering the penalty for the kidnapping of the minor in October 2021, public channel ABC reported Tuesday.

Smith was abducted in the early morning of Oct. 16, 2021 while she was sleeping with her family in a Quobba Blowholes campsite, about 70 kilometers from the city of Carnarvon, and rescued unharmed on Nov. 3, 2021.

The police, who deployed a huge operation, found the girl locked in a room full of dolls in a house owned by Kelly, in Carnarvon, 3 kilometers from Cleo’s family home, and about 895 kilometers north of Perth, the regional capital.

During the trial, Kelly said he has a great fondness for Bratz dolls and fantasizes about “imaginary children” on social media. His lawyers said he has issues with neurological disabilities and trauma suffered during his childhood.

However, in her judgment on Apr. 5, Western Australia State Court Magistrate Julie Wager said Kelly caused Cleo and her parents “immeasurable” fear, anguish and trauma during the 18 days of abduction, during which the minor spent several hours alone and without access to the outside world. EFE


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