News Cleo Smith’s alleged abductor shackled on flight to Perth
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Cleo Smith’s alleged abductor shackled on flight to Perth

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The man charged with abducting four-year-old Cleo Smith has been sent to a remand prison in Perth under heavy security.

Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, was shackled and accompanied by armed riot squad guards when he boarded a charter flight that departed Carnarvon Airport shortly before midday on Friday WA time.

WA’s Department of Justice confirmed Mr Kelly would be escorted by special operations officers to a maximum-security facility in Perth.

Cleo Smith
Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, was transferred to a maximum security prison. Photo: Getty

Mr Kelly appeared before a magistrate in Carnarvon on Thursday, charged with various offences including forcibly taking a child under 16.

The accused man, who appeared barefoot and wearing a black shirt, allegedly made threatening remarks to media present at the hearing.

Channel 7  journalist Joseph Catanzaro was quoted by News Corp as saying that Mr Kelly pointed “threateningly at several members of the media”

Catanzaro was quoted as saying the Mr Kelly glared at him and said: “I’m going to get out of here one day. I’m coming for you.”

It was also reported that Mr Kelly also asked the magistrate “What the f— are the media doing here?”

He was told by the magistrate that it was an open court. ​

Mr Kelly, who is alleged to have acted alone, was yet to enter a plea to his charges on Friday. He has no connection to Cleo’s family.

Mr Kelly was remanded in custody, with the matter set to return to court in December.

He was not on a list of known sex offenders in Carnarvon, a small coastal town almost 1000 kilometres north of Perth which does not have its own prison.

WA’s Department of Justice on Friday confirmed Mr Kelly would be escorted by special operations officers to a maximum-security facility in Perth.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said Mr Kelly would be subject to extra security measures “for obvious reasons”, having twice been hospitalised after self-harming while in custody.

Cleo was found alive and well early on Wednesday, 18 days after she went missing from her family’s tent at the remote Blowholes campsite.

She was rescued from a property just minutes from her family home in Carnarvon, about 75 kilometres south of the campsite.

Police said Cleo was physically unharmed by her ordeal. Photo: WA Police

Police forced entry to the home and found Cleo alone in a room, physically unharmed and playing with toys.

Mr Kelly was arrested on a nearby street around the same time.

Police say they will refocus their investigation on tracking Mr Kelly’s movements leading up to Cleo being discovered, according to ABC.

Lead investigator Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde said police were unsure of if Cleo was in that house for the whole time she was missing.

“That’s still something that we’re going through and trying to establish,” he said.

Cleo was pictured smiling in the arms of her mother Ellie Smith on Thursday, when she was set to speak to specialist child interviewers for the first time.

Homicide detective Cameron Blaine, who was among Cleo’s rescuers, said she appeared to be holding up well.

“I can only see her from the outside. But from that point of view, I’m amazed that she seems to be so well adjusted and happy,” he said.

“It was really heartwarming to see that she’s still bubbly and she’s laughing.

“She’s falling asleep in her mother’s arms. There was one occasion where she asked if she could lay next to mum and have Ellie look at her while she fell asleep.

“It’s really good to see that she’s adjusted, she’s getting some sleep, she’s playing in the backyard exactly how you would expect.”

Police are yet to confirm whether Cleo was kept at other locations while she was apart from her family and have been tight-lipped on the exact intelligence that led officers to her location.

They had been seeking the driver of a car that was seen leaving the Blowholes campsite around the time she was allegedly taken.

Have any information about a missing person?

Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go to www.crimestoppers.com.au

-with AAP