Of the many twists and turns in the Cleo Smith saga, a swift guilty plea by the man who abducted her is up there as one of the more surprising developments.
But one expert says the sheer weight of evidence against 36-year-old Terence Darrell Kelly meant there was only likely one outcome at Monday’s court appearance in Carnarvon.
University of Newcastle criminologist Dr Xanthe Mallett says the strength of the case against Kelly meant a guilty plea was always likely, even with significant public interest in Cleo looming as a potentially distorting factor in proceedings.
“I wasn‘t surprised,” Dr Mallett told Sunrise on Tuesday.
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