A “LONER” held over allegedly abducting Cleo Smith is said to have been attacked in a cell by another prisoner.
Suspect Terry Kelly, 36, was allegedly beaten by another lag at a police station in Carnarvon, Western Australia, hours after arriving.
Kelly is said to have been held on Wednesday morning just after officers swooped on a property where they found four-year-old Cleo.
The mum of the prisoner who is alleged to have beaten him told Daily Mail Australia her son was “furious” after finding out why Kelly was arrested.
She told the publication: “As soon as he heard this bloke was arrested over that little Cleo, he blew up, beat him black and blue.
“I tell you what, he [Kelly] got a real hiding…my son had to be taken out in shackles, and he [Kelly] was taken for treatment…he was in a bad way.
“He is a big bloke but he really copped it”.
Kelly is the prime suspect after little Cleo vanished from her tent at Blowholes campground site in Western Australia.
He was pictured bandaged after sustaining injuries.
Cops revealed they broke down the door of his house in Carnarvon, Western Australia, at 12:46am yesterday – where they found Cleo.
Police cameras show the moment the young girl was carried in an officer’s arms to safety following the burst in – returning her to her family after 18 days.
She was alive and well and was found playing with toys.
Cleo — dubbed Australia’s Madeleine McCann — is now back with mum Ellie while detectives try to find a motive for her abduction.
She was pictured sitting up in a hospital bed sucking an ice lolly after getting the all-clear by medics as a wave of joy swept the nation.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said: “They really did not know what they were going to encounter.
“It was the hard work of the team that did (lead to the house), analysing all that information gathering it all, working through it and finding that needle in that haystack.”
Police last night revealed Kelly was held by plain-clothed officers who were tracking his car and swooped before he returned home.
The “quiet” suspect was arrested in the car, and then police proceeded to bust into the locked house.
But they admitted they had no idea if they would find the tot alive when they broke down the locked front door of his property with a crowbar and battering ram.
The rescue has sparked a flurry of questions, including why she ended up there after being snatched 43 miles away.
Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine struggled to contain his emotions as he told how the frantic search ended in elation as Cleo was found alone in a room.
He said: “I was one of four guys that was fortunate enough to go through that door and make that rescue. It was absolutely fantastic — incredible.
“One of the guys jumped in front of me and picked her up and I just wanted to be absolutely sure . . . it certainly looked like Cleo.”