Man charged with murders of three children and woman found dead after sleepover

22 September 2021, 08:14 | Updated: 22 September 2021, 15:51

Officers found the four bodies on Sunday morning
Officers found the four bodies on Sunday morning. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A 31-year-old man has been charged with four counts of murder after a mother and three children were found dead in a house in Killamarsh, Derbyshire.

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 Damien Bendall has been charged with their murder and remains in custody.

He was remanded in custody at Derby Magistrates' Court after appearing by video link on Wednesday,

Josh Giltrap at South Derbyshire Magistrates' Court

The force said the four bodies were found after police responded to a call about concerns for the safety of a man at the address at 7.26am.

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

Mourners have paid their respects near the house in Killamarsh
Mourners have paid their respects near the house in Killamarsh. Picture: Alamy

Derbyshire Constabulary established an online portal on Tuesday for people to submit footage in relation to the deaths.

The public can report information or send CCTV, doorbell video or dashcam footage directly to the investigation team.

Meanwhile, officers also disclosed that the man now named as Bendall was taken to hospital with self-inflicted minor injuries.

Mourners hold vigil for Killamarsh victims

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.

"I would urge anyone who is concerned about the incident to speak to officers in the area or use the online reporting tool to pass information in confidence."