ActivePaper Archive Carer called accused a gift - The West Australian , 11/8/2021

Carer called accused a gift

The man accused of abducting Cleo Smith was taken in as a twoyear-old by a well-respected Aboriginal woman, who referred to him as a gift from God.

According to The Australian, an archived parliamentary inquiry confirms that Penny Walker took in Terence Darrell Kelly in 1987 because his biological mother was a drug addict.

Ms Walker, well known in the State’s Mid West, raised him and two biological grandsons.

The newspaper states that in an interview in May 2019 for the State Library of Western Australia, Ms Walker considered Mr Kelly, who she called Terry, a gift from God.

“His mum didn’t want him and she threw him away, ” she said.

“This little boy, God was giving me something back into my life, what the welfare took off me, my children.

“So I had this little boy. Beautiful boy, Terry, two-year-old jet black curly hair.”

She raised him in Carnarvon alongside two of her biological grandsons — who she took in following their mother’s death.

According to The Australian Mr Kelly became more withdrawn after the death of Ms Walker in early 2020.