The man accused of allegedly abducting four year old Cleo Smith will face court on new charges of allegedly assaulting a public officer, Perth Now reports.
The man allegedly kidnapped Cleo from her family on October 16, 2021 and held her captive in a Carnarvon home for 18 days.
After a month behind bars in Casuarina Prison, the accused faced court on December 6, 2021 charged with one count of forcibly taking a child under 16. He was remanded in custody to reappear in court on January 24, 2022.
However, court documents show that the accused has also been charged with allegedly assaulting a public officer. It has not been confirmed as to whether the alleged assault was on a police or prison officer, police have declined to comment on the matter.
Police originally charged the Western Australian man on November 4, 2021 with the alleged abduction of Cleo after an exhaustive search and investigation by authorities.
Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine, one of four officers who found Cleo, spoke to reporters briefly outside the courthouse on November 4.
“It’s obviously a combination of lots of hard work and that’s what we’ve been here for, so yeah, it’s fantastic,” he said.
“The matter is before the court so we’re not going to make any more comment at this stage.”
Cleo disappeared from the tent she was sleeping in with her parents at the Blowholes campsite in Macleod, north of Carnarvon, on October 16, police found the four-year-old alive in a locked house in Carnarvon at approximately 1am, November 3, 18 days after she went missing.
Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch confirmed in a statement that Cleo was found “alive and well” following her dramatic rescue.
“It’s my privilege to announce that in the early hours of this morning the Western Australia Police Force rescued Cleo Smith,” he said.
“This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for.”
Blanch thanked Western Australian Police for their “incredible police work” during the search.
“I want to thank Cleo’s parents, the West Australian community and all of the volunteers,” he said.
“And of course, I want to thank my colleagues in the Western Australian Police Force.”