Killamarsh deaths: Quadruple murder suspect appears in crown court for the first time

A man has appeared in court charged with the murders of a mother and three children.

Damien Bendall, 31, is alleged to have raped and murdered 11-year-old Lacey Bennett, as well as being accused of killing her brother John Paul Bennett, 13, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, 11.

The charges come after four bodies were discovered at a house in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, on September 19.

On Tuesday, Bendall was produced in person at Derby Crown Court where he was not required to enter any pleas to the charges.

(left) Lacey Bennett with her brother John Paul Bennett and their mother Terri Harris and (right) Connie Gent with her friend Lacey

Wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue jeans and a white face mask, the defendant was surrounded by five dock officers during the short hearing.

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The murder charges allege he killed all four on a day between Friday September 17 and Monday September 20.

An inquest opening at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court previously heard the four died as a result of a “violent attack”.

The coroner’s court also heard how a relative of Bendall had phoned police to say the defendant had suffered a self-inflicted stab wound.

The defendant is due to stand trial on March 1 this year.

Judge Nirmal Shant QC remanded Bendall, of Chandos Crescent, back into custody to appear at the same court for a plea hearing on January 18.