Killamarsh deaths: Man, 31, charged with murdering mother and three children

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
Damien Bendall appeared via video-link sitting on a chair and wearing a grey sweater and jogging bottoms, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, and his address as Chandos Cresce (SWNS)
Damien Bendall appeared via video-link at Derby Magistrates’ Court today after he was charged with four counts of murder. (SWNS)

A 31-year-old man has been charged with four counts of murder after a mother and three children were found dead in a house at the weekend.

Damien Bendall is accused of killing John Paul Bennett, 13, Lacey Bennett, 11, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, 11, who were found dead in a property on Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, on Sunday, Derbyshire Police said.

He has been remanded in custody at Derby Magistrates’ Court after making a video-link appearance this afternoon.

Bendall, who appeared in the video-link sitting on a chair and wearing a grey sweater and jogging bottoms, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, and his address as Chandos Crescent.

Lacey Bennett (top, left) and John Paul Bennett (bottom, left) were found dead in their home in Killamarsh on Sunday. (SWNS)
Lacey Bennett (top, left) and John Paul Bennett (bottom, left) were found dead in their home in Killamarsh on Sunday. (SWNS)
People look at flowers near to the scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, where the bodies of John Paul Bennett, 13, Lacey Bennett, 11, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and Lacey�s friend Connie Gent, 11, were discovered at a property on Sunday morning. Picture date: Tuesday September 21, 2021.
People look at flowers near to the scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield. (PA)

Deputy District Judge Gary Garland ordered Bendall to appear at Derby Crown Court on Friday.

Bendall, of Chandos Crescent, was taken to Northern General Hospital in Sheffield for treatment for minor self-inflicted injuries following his arrest at the scene.

Watch: Man arrested after four people found dead in Derbyshire house

Police were seen scouring bins and a nearby park on Monday as they investigated the killings.

Terri, John and Lacey are only believed to have lived in Killamarsh for a few months, having moved from Sheffield.

Tributes were left at the scene this week as mourners paid their respects to the victims.

One man living nearby told the PA news agency: "I'm shocked. I think people will be devastated."

Tory MP Rowley described the incident as "terrible and hugely tragic", adding: "Killamarsh is such a lovely, close knit and warm community and I know that many residents will be shocked and worried by the news.

Derbyshire Police said the four bodies were found after police responded to a call about concerns for the safety of a man at the address at 7.26am on Sunday.

Flowers near to the scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, where the bodies of John Paul Bennett, 13, Lacey Bennett, 11, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and Lacey�s friend Connie Gent, 11, were discovered at a property on Sunday morning. Picture date: Tuesday September 21, 2021.
Flowers near to the scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, where the bodies were discovered. (PA)
The scene in Chandos Crescent in Killamarsh, near Sheffield, where four people were found dead at a house on Sunday. Derbyshire Police said a man is in police custody and they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths. Picture date: Monday September 20, 2021.
Police invesitgate the scene at Chandos Crescent following the killings. (PA)

Police had previously said officers did not have any prior contact with those involved.

Detective Chief Inspector Sally Blaiklock, who is leading the investigation, said: “Our thoughts remain with the families of Terri, John Paul, Lacey and Connie – as well as the communities that have been affected by this most tragic of incidents.

Messages left by the father to one of the victims on bouquets of flowers at the scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, where four people were found dead at a house on Sunday. Derbyshire Police said a man is in police custody and they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths. Picture date: Monday September 20, 2021.
Messages left by the father to one of the victims on bouquets of flowers at the scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield. (PA)
Flowers, soft toys and candles are seen at a vigil at the scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, where four people were found dead at a house on Sunday. Picture date: Monday September 20, 2021.
Flowers, soft toys and candles are seen at a vigil at the scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield. (PA)

“A large scene remains in place on Chandos Crescent and local residents will see an increased police presence in the area over the coming days, including patrols by officers in the local area.

“I would urge anyone who is concerned about the incident to speak to officers in the area or use the online reporting tool to pass information in confidence.”

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