Killamarsh tragedy: Man accused of murdering woman and three children appears in court

A 31-year-old man has appeared before magistrates accused of murdering three children and a 35-year-old woman at a house in Killamarsh.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 1:48 pm

Damien Bendall, 31, has been charged with the murders of 35-year-old Terri Harris, her daughter Lacey Bennett, 11, son John Paul Bennett, 13, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, also 11.

He appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court via video link from Ripley Police Station, this morning (Wednesday).

Bendall, wearing a grey tracksuit, spoke only to confirm his name, address, and date of birth at the short hearing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Artist's impression of Damien Bendall appearing via video link at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court. September 22, 2021.

Prosecutor Becky Allsop told the court: “Mr Bendall is charged with four counts of murder. This defendant doesn’t have the right to apply for bail.”

He was remanded in custody to appear at Derby Crown Court on Friday, September 24.

Bendall’s appearance comes after police rushed to a house on Chandos Crescent at 7.25am on Sunday after reports of “concerns for safety” of those at the address.

Upon their arrival they found the bodies of Terri Harris, her daughter Lacey Bennett, son John Paul Bennett and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent.

Floral tributes at the scene of the tragedy - Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh. Picture: Dean Atkins

Following the dreadful discovery Jason Bennett – father of Lacey and John Paul - said the loss of his children had “absolutely broken” his heart into “a million pieces”.

He described the children as his “beautiful babies” and how he now feels “lost and broken”.

During a visit to the scene on Monday he was consoled and hugged after breaking down in tears close to the spot where floral tributes were left.

On Monday evening around 300 mourners stood in Killamarsh’s Baker Park in a vigil to remember Terri Harris and the three children.

A message from Phil Bramley, Derbyshire Times Editor: Support your Derbyshire Times by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe