Man charged with the murder of his partner and her children at sleepover

·2-min read
Damien Bendall
Damien Bendall

A 31-year-old man has been remanded in custody charged with four counts of murder after a mother and three children were found dead at a sleepover in a house near Sheffield.

Terri Harris, 35, was found dead along with her children John Paul, 13, Lacey, 11, and friend Connie Gent, also 11, at a property in Chandos Crescent in Killamarsh on Sunday morning.

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

Damien Bendall, understood to have been the boyfriend of Terri Harris, was remanded in custody on Wednesday after appearing at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court in Derby by video-link.

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

Bendall, who appeared in Wednesday’s 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.

The charges against the 31-year-old allege that he murdered all four victims on a day between Friday September 17 and Monday September 20.

Children Lacey, 11, and John, 13, with their mother Terri Harris and father Jason Bennett
Children Lacey, 11, and John, 13, with their mother Terri Harris and father Jason Bennett
Artists impression of Damien Bendall appearing via video link at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court - Helen Tipper/SWNS
Artists impression of Damien Bendall appearing via video link at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court - Helen Tipper/SWNS

He is due to appear at Derby Crown Court on Friday.

Officers also disclosed on Tuesday that Bendall was taken to hospital with self-inflicted minor injuries.

Outwood Academy City, where the three children went to school, said their memories would "live on forever".

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.

"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."

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