Cleo Smith kidnapper Terence Kelly ‘fairly’ sentenced for taking child from Blowholes campground
A criminal justice expert believes Terence Kelly received a “just punishment” for kidnapping four-year-old Cleo Smith and holding him for 18 days. During that time, he turned on the radio to drown out her cries for help when she heard her name broadcast.
Police have criticized the 13-year and six-month prison sentence handed down to 37-year-old Kelly in Perth District Court on Wednesday as too lenient.
Cleo was kidnapped on October 16, 2021 while sleeping with her family at Blowholes campsite, some 960km north of Perth, and held captive at Kelly’s nearby home in Carnarvon before an exhaustive week-long police search resulted in her rescue.
The criminologist Dr. Xanthe Mallett of the University of Newcastle admitted Kelly’s sentence, which could see him paroled in 11 years, may not seem fair.
Kelly admitted in a police interview that he was “roughed up.” [Cleo] get up a few times” and said he hit her when she was “domineering”.
Four-year-old Cleo Smith (pictured) after being rescued by police from the home of kidnapper Terence Kelly in 2021
“The community may feel that this is a fairly low sentence, the maximum being 20 years, but there were serious mitigating circumstances,” said Dr. Mallett to Sunrise on Thursday.
“The perpetrator has very complex behavior and a traumatic past, and that was certainly taken into account by the judge when passing the sentence.”
Kelly confessed to being placed on meth during the crime and has a history of childhood trauma that Dr. Mallett said they weighed on the judge’s decision-making.
“He (Kelly) also has cognitive dysfunction as well as very severe personality disorders, so it was a complex picture for the judge to weigh,” said Dr. Mallett.
“The methamphetamine was used to cope with some of the trauma that just contributed to it, and made things so much worse for him in the time leading up to the kidnapping.”
Terence Darrell Kelly (pictured centre) was sentenced to 13.5 years in prison on Wednesday for the kidnapping and imprisonment of Cleo
During the time Cleo was being held captive, it was revealed in court that Kelly turned up the radio volume to drown out her cries for help, as she also heard her name being broadcast as police conducted their frantic search.
“It must have been very traumatic for her,” said Dr. Mallett.
“Eighteen days is a really long time in the life of a four year old and hearing her name on the radio and not understanding why he wouldn’t take her back to her mother must have been incredibly traumatic for her.
“We are very fortunate that she was brought back physically unharmed, but there is significant trauma she would have suffered.”
The criminologist Dr. Xanthe Mallett, from the University of Newcastle, told Channel Seven that while some would think Kelly’s sentence was light, she felt it was fair given the circumstances
dr Mallett commended WA Police for finding Cleo and her messages of support for the four-year-old and her family.
“I think it certainly speaks to the amount of time, effort and love they put into this case to find this child,” she said.
“It was an amazing result that none of us expected.
“I’m glad the formal part is over for the family because they really need time to consolidate and get away from it so they don’t haunt them for the rest of their lives.
“Cleo is a very young girl who has her whole future ahead of her.”
This echoed the personal message WA Commissioner Col Blanch gave to Cleo on Wednesday.
“We owe you your privacy, we owe you to grow up and make your dreams come true. So from all of us it’s time to give you the space to do that,” he said.
WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch (pictured) slammed Kelly’s “nasty” post-conviction crimes and praised the police’s tireless efforts to find Cleo
Commissioner Blanch said the discovery of Cleo was “the greatest story in Western Australian police history”.
He described the crime Kelly committed as “evil,” “heinous,” and “a parent’s worst nightmare.”
“Like I said, I’m the police commissioner and I respect the rule of law, but as a father I could never forgive that,” he said.
Commissioner Blanch questioned the sentence imposed on Kelly.
“Early on in my career I spoke to the father of a victim of a serious crime. And he said to me, as a father, a million years isn’t enough, and that’s driven by emotion — and as a father, I understand that,” he said.
“And I would expect that the community would never think that 13.5 years is enough.
“But Judge (Julie) Wager had to weigh many things and there were many extenuating circumstances and I respect the court’s decision.”
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/cleo-smith-kidnapper-terence-kelly-sentence-fair-for-taking-child-from-blowholes-campsite/ Cleo Smith kidnapper Terence Kelly ‘fairly’ sentenced for taking child from Blowholes campground