Man admits killing mother and three children – but denies murder

4 October 2022, 16:08 | Updated: 4 October 2022, 17:20

Man admits killing of mother and three children - but denies murder
Man admits killing of mother and three children - but denies murder. Picture: Derbyshire Police

By Danielle DeWolfe

A man has pleaded not guilty to the murders of a mother and three children, after their bodies were found in a house in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, last year.

Damien Bendall, 32, instead admitted to four counts of manslaughter, also pleading not guilty to an additional charge of rape.

It came after the body of Terri Harris was discovered at the address on Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, alongside those of her children John Paul Bennett, 13, Lacey Bennett, 11, and Connie Gent, 11, on September 19, 2021.

Bendall was arrested at the scene, before being taken to hospital for treatment for injuries sustained prior to the arrival of officers.

Read more: Necrophiliac murderer David Fuller who abused dead bodies in a mortuary charged with further sex crimes

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Damien Bendall stands accused of the murder of Connie Gent, John Paul and Lacey Bennett, and Terri Harris.
Damien Bendall stands accused of the murder of Connie Gent, John Paul and Lacey Bennett, and Terri Harris. Picture: Derbyshire Police

Prosecutors allege he raped 11-year-old Lacey Bennett, before committing the murders between Friday, September 17, and Monday, September 18.

It came as tributes to the family poured in, with Jason Bennett, understood to be the father of two of the children killed, describing himself as"lost and broken" at the news.

He also went on to describe his and daughter as "angels".

Brendall was remanded in custody after entering the pleas and is set to stand trial on Thursday, November 24, at Derbyshire Crown Court.

The hearing is expected to last around three weeks.

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