Terence Darrell Kelly moved to maximum security prison after ‘threatening journalist’ in Cleo Smith abduction hearing

Cleo Smith’s alleged abductor looked a reporter directly in the eye in court and said ‘I’m coming for you’

Sravasti Dasgupta
Friday 05 November 2021 11:33
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File: Cleo Smith,4, was found inside a family home on Wednesday

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The man charged with abducting four-year-old Cleo Smith allegedly threatened a reporter before being moved from Carnarvon to a maximum security prison in Perth.

Terence Darrel Kelly, 36, was charged by Carnarvon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for a string of offences related to the child’s abduction, including one count of forcibly taking a child under 16, reported news.co.au.

He has been remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear in court via a video link again on 6 December.

In a statement on Friday, Western Australia’s Department of Justice confirmed Mr Kelly’s movement.

“Officers from the Department of Justice’s special operations group will undertake the escort and transfer of the prisoner from Carnarvon to Perth,” the statement said. “The prisoner will be transferred to a maximum security facility.”

Photographs showed a shackled Mr Kelly winking at media cameras as he was escorted to the plane by four heavily armed prison squad officials on Friday morning.

Mr Kelly had lashed out at the media in court on Thursday and even asked the magistrate, “What the f*** are the media doing here,” reported The Australian.

He also looked at a reporter directly in the eye and said, “I’m going to get out of here one day. I’m coming for you.”

7 News journalist Joseph Catanzaro told news.co.au that. “He did point threateningly at several members of the media ... and had a few choice words for me said in open court.”

Western Australia Police said that Mr Kelly would be subject to extra safety measures for “obvious reasons” reported The Guardian.

The police had earlier said that he has been hospitalised twice before for self-harm in custody.

Mr Kelly is believed to have acted alone, when he abducted Cleo, who disappeared from her family tent at the remote Blowholes Shacks campsite in Macleod on 16 October, sparking a huge search.

She was found inside a family home on Wednesday, about two miles from her home in Carnarvon, and 62 miles from the campsite.

Police found Cleo “alive and well” in one of the rooms in the house where she was found playing with dolls.

Social media posts have revealed images of Mr Kelly holding two dolls while another photograph shows a room full of dolls in his house.

In an audio recording released by the police, officers can be heard asking the child her name three times before she is finally heard responding with “My name is Cleo”.

Police are yet to confirm if Cleo was kept in other locations during her 18-day abduction, reported The Guardian.

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