Damien Bendall appears in dock for first time accused of Killamarsh murders, near Sheffield

The man accused of murdering a mother and three children in a village near Sheffield has appeared in the dock for the first time.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 2:35 pm

Damien Bendall, aged 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.

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Damien Bendall due in court today accused of four murders and one rape

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

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Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Damien Bendall, 31, of Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, appearing in the dock at Derby Crown Court, court charged with murders of John Paul Bennett, 13, Lacey Bennett, 11, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and Lacey's friend Connie Gent, 11, who were discovered at a property in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, on September 19. Picture date: Tuesday January 4, 2022. PA Photo. On Tuesday, Bendall was produced in person at Derby Crown Court where he was not required to enter any pleas to the charges. Wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue jeans and a white face mask, the defendant was surrounded by five dock officers during the short hearing. 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. See PA story COURTS Killamarsh. Photo credit should read: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

This morning Bendall was produced in person at Derby Crown Court where he was not required to enter any pleas to the charges that he is facing.

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

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

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

Damien Bendall is accused of murdering Terri Harris (top left), her son John Paul Bennett (top right), her daughter Lacey Bennett (bottom right) and Lacey's friend Connie Gent (bottom left)

The coroner's court also heard how a relative of Bendall had phoned police to say that 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, Killamarsh, back into custody.

He is next due to appear at the same court for a plea hearing on January 18.

Terri, the woman he is accused of killing, had recently moved to Killamarsh with her children from Woodhouse in Sheffield.

Connie still lived in Woodhouse.