Perth – The high-profile case of a man charged with abducting a four-year-old girl from a remote Australian campsite was delayed on Monday after his lawyer won an adjournment.
Cleo Smith disappeared from her family’s tent in Western Australia in October, sparking a major search operation that many feared would end in tragedy.
But the little girl was found 18 days later alone inside a locked house in the coastal town of Carnarvon, a short drive from where she disappeared.
Her accused abductor, Terence Darrell Kelly, appeared in court on Monday via video link from prison, where he has been held for more than a month in maximum-security custody.
The 36-year-old was not asked to speak during the brief hearing but his lawyer’s request for a seven-week adjournment was granted.
Kelly was remanded in custody until his next appearance via video link on January 24.
The case has attracted global attention, which reached fever pitch when Cleo Smith was discovered and reunited with her parents in early November.
Police swiftly detained Kelly and he was remanded in custody after his first appearance in court last month.
The next day a shackled Kelly was accompanied by armed riot squad guards on a charter flight from Carnarvon to the state’s capital of Perth, where he has been held in prison since.
Kelly is alleged to have acted alone and police say he does not have a link to the family.
He has been charged with multiple offences including forcibly taking a child under 16.
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