Man admits to abduction of four-year-old Australian Cleo Smith

Cleo was taken from a camping tent on Australia’s west coast last year

Terence Darrell Kelly (36) admitted to the abduction of Cleo Smith. Photograph: Western Australia Police via AP

Terence Darrell Kelly (36) admitted to the abduction of Cleo Smith. Photograph: Western Australia Police via AP

 

A man has pleaded guilty to abducting a four-year-old girl from her family’s camping tent on Australia’s west coast last year.

Police found the girl, Cleo Smith, alone in a house in Carnavon, a town of 5,000 people, 18 days after she went missing last October.

Terence Darrell Kelly (36) admitted to the abduction during a brief court appearance in Carnarvon on Monday in a video link from a Perth prison, 900 km to the south.

He faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison on a conviction of forcibly taking a child aged under 16. He will next appear in a Western Australian state District Court in Perth on March 20.

Kelly has not entered a plea to other criminal charges he faces, including assaulting a public officer. Those charges have been adjourned to a later date. – AP