Crime & Justice

Man who kidnapped Australian girl for 18 days sentenced to prison

Sydney, Australia, Apr 5 (EFE).- An Australian court sentenced Terence Kelly to 13 years and six months in prison Wednesday for kidnapping a four-year-old Australian girl from a campsite in October 2021 and whom he kept locked up for 18 days in a room full of dolls.

Western Australian State Court Magistrate Julie Wager said Kelly caused “immeasurable” fear, anguish and trauma to Cleo Smith and her parents during the abduction, as the minor spent several hours alone and without access to the outside world.

“In the world of a four-year-old child, one day is a long time. In the world of a four-year-old child, 18 days is a very long time,” added the magistrate when issuing the sentence in the city of Perth, Australian agency AAP News reported.

The child was abducted in the early hours of Oct. 16, 2021 while she was sleeping with her family in a Quobba Blow Holes campsite, about 70 kilometers from the city of Carnarvon, and rescued on Nov. 3 physically unharmed.

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.

The magistrate said Kelly escaped the maximum sentence of 20 years for the kidnapping of the minor because he pleaded guilty at the beginning of the judicial process, in January 2022.

The judge also considered the neurological disability and trauma problems suffered during Kelly’s childhood. According to what was said in the process, he had a great fondness for Bratz dolls and fantasized about “imaginary children” on social media.

Kelly, 37, will be able to apply for bail after spending 11 years in jail. EFE


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