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Murder suspect caused deaths of mother and three children, court told


By PA News

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A court has heard that there is no issue over whether a 31-year-old murder suspect caused the deaths 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 unlawfully 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, South Yorkshire, on September 19.

Lacey Bennett with her brother John Paul Bennett and their mother Terri Harris (Derbyshire Police/PA)
Lacey Bennett with her brother John Paul Bennett and their mother Terri Harris (Derbyshire Police/PA)

On Wednesday, Bendall appeared in the dock at Derby Crown Court where he was not required to enter any pleas to the charges.

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

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

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.

Connie Gent also died in the incident (Derbyshire Police/PA)
Connie Gent also died in the incident (Derbyshire Police/PA)

The defendant is due to stand trial on March 21 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 February 25.

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