Terence Kelly will spend at least 11-and-a-half years behind bars over the terrifying abduction of four-year-old Cleo Smith from her family’s tent in remote WA.
Kelly, 37, pleaded guilty last year to taking Cleo from the Blowholes campsite, about 960km north of Perth, on October 16, 2021.
Cleo was missing for 18 days before finally being found by police alone in a room at a property in nearby Carnarvon on November 3.
On Wednesday night’s episode of Up Late, Ben Harvey revealed what life might be like in prison for Kelly.
Harvey first expressed his surprise that it took so long to find Cleo, given Kelly’s obsession with dolls.
“Now we’ve put the Cleo Smith abduction to bed we can crack the next mystery…why nobody in Carnarvon told the police looking for her it might be an idea to check on the man with a doll collection…it wasn’t like he was trying to hide it…he had half a dozen Facebook pages documenting the weirdness,” Harvey said.
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“Nobody at the local Toy World thought it odd that a bloke in his 30s with no kids was stocking up on dolls?”
Harvey then detailed what would have happened to Kelly after his sentencing on Wednesday.
“After the judge handed down the sentence he would have been taken back to Casuarina (prison). He would have been driven there in a prisoner transport truck, under the control of the special operations group. They handle prisoner transport for high profile or dangerous convicts.”
Harvey revealed Kelly would go straight to his cell with no interruptions, as his possessions would have been taken when he was arrested.
“Whatever he had then will sit in a clear plastic bag until he collects them. That will be somewhere between 2033 and 2036,” Harvey said.
It will be a lonely existence in prison for Kelly.
“He’ll have very little contact with other prisoners because inmates don’t take nicely to men who snatch kids,” Harvey said.
Harvey revealed that if Kelly was allowed into the prison’s general population he might be able to work, but that if he smoked, it would set him back about a whole week’s wage.
“If he is allowed in the general population he might get a job…the most popular jobs are in the kitchen. The max you can earn in a week is about $70. He can spend that money at the canteen.
“It’s been a while since I checked, but a pack of Tim Tams for Terence will be about $3, a deck of Uno cards $5.
“If Terence smokes he will have to work all week for one pack of White Ox — the worst tobacco on earth but also the cheapest — about $65.”
In handing down her sentence on Thursday, Julie Wager remarked there were “no truly comparable cases” to this one.
The maximum sentence available to Judge Wager was 20 years. However, Kelly received a discount due to his early guilty plea and a diagnosis of “complex personality dysfunction” due to a myriad of mental health problems stemming from a troubled childhood.
“No child in Western Australia … should have suffered what you did as a child,” said Judge Wager in her sentencing remarks, detailing the trauma Kelly suffered growing up with a violent father and both parents abusing substances.
Kelly will be eligible for parole after serving 11 and a half years, backdated to his arrest on November 3, 2021.