Tributes pour in for three children and mother found dead in house

·3-min read

Tributes to a mother and three children found dead in a house have continued to flood in.

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 in Chandos Crescent in Killamarsh, near Sheffield, on Sunday morning.

Derbyshire Police said a 31-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder and was being questioned by officers.

A fundraising page set up on GoFundMe for the families of the victims has now raised more than £14,000.

Connie’s father Charlie Gent paid tribute to his daughter, writing a Facebook post which reads: “Parents – spend as much time with your kids as you possibly can.

“If you’re a parent and arguing, please don’t stop that child from seeing the other parent.

“You never know what’s round the corner… I’ve learnt the hard way, like most things in life, and it’s too late.”

Mr Gent continued: “I don’t want anyone to ever go through what I am going through right now.

“My little girl has gone I can’t even put into words or even how to feel or react right now.

“Fly safe baby girl. I love you with all my heart and always will.

“Going to miss you like crazy.”

The father of John Paul and Lacey, Jason Bennett, said on Monday that he was “heartbroken” as he collapsed in tears while laying flowers for the children.

Killamarsh deaths
Messages left by the father to one of the victims on bouquets of flowers at the scene in Chandos Crescent (Danny Lawson/PA)

Asked about his feelings as he left, he said “heartbroken; million pieces; shattered”.

Officers did not have any prior contact with those involved in the incident, police said.

The three children found dead at the property were pupils at Outwood Academy City in Sheffield and the school paid tribute to them in a statement issued on Tuesday.

It said: “We are all devastated at the loss of three of our students; John Paul Bennett, Lacey Bennett and Connie Gent.

“Our hearts are broken after this weekend’s tragic news, and we would like to offer our deepest sympathies and condolences on behalf of everyone at Outwood Academy City to the families of those affected.

“The children had bright futures ahead of them but sadly none of us will get to see this. The school community will remember them fondly.”

The statement continued: “Lacey and Connie had just embarked on their secondary school journey with us and already made a positive impression on everyone they came into contact with.

“John Paul was a popular and polite young man, well liked by staff and with a close knit group of friends.

Killamarsh deaths
The father to some of the victims leaves flowers at the scene (Danny Lawson/PA)

“It is difficult to process the news, but the memories we have of John Paul, Lacey and Connie will live on forever at the school.

“Our school community is shocked and we are all grieving together.

“We will remember John Paul, Lacey and Connie fondly and the significant contributions they made to Outwood Academy City in their time with us.

“Our community is hurting right now, but as we often say, we are a family at Outwood Academy City and we will be doing everything that we can to support our students, staff and families during this traumatic time.”

Around 300 people gathered on Monday evening for a vigil in a park a few hundred yards from the police cordon, where they placed candles, flowers and teddy bears.

Chandos Crescent was sealed off after the incident, with a number of officers patrolling the street and many police vehicles parked on the surrounding roads.

The house is semi-detached, of a prefabricated design, with a large playing field on one side, which was also cordoned off.

There were a number of blue police tents in the front garden and forensics officers were conducting inquiries.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting