Killamarsh deaths: Sheffield church to hold special remembrance for Connie Gent on day of funeral

A church in Sheffield will pause to remember Connie Gent, one of the three children found dead at a house in Killamarsh, this week.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 11:55 am

Eleven-year-old Connie, who lived in Woodhouse, was killed along with her friend Lacey Bennett, also 11, Lacey's brother, 13-year-old John Paul Bennett, and their mother, Terri Harris, 35.

Terri’s funeral was held last Thursday in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, and her children were given a final send-off two days later in a private ceremony.

Connie, who was at a sleepover on Chandos Crescent when she was killed in a ‘violent attack’ on Sunday, September 19, will be laid to rest this Thursday, October 28, at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium, in Sheffield.

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Connie Gent, who was found dead at a house in Killamarsh alongside her friend Lacey Bennett, also 11, Lacey's brother, 13-year-old John Paul Bennett, and their mother, Terri Harris, 35, will be laid to rest in Sheffield on Thursday, October 28

Her father, Charlie, said the service would take place at 3.15pm, adding: “All welcome as (I) would like to give my daughter the send-off she deserves.”

St James Church in Woodhouse has announced its plans to honour Connie on the day of her funeral.

Reverend June Fox wrote: “On Thursday the 28th St James will be open from 2pm to 4pm to remember Connie Gent. The bells will ring at 3.15pm. May she rest in peace and rise in glory!”

Connie and Lacey had recently started at Outwood Academy City in Stradbroke, having previously attended Woodhouse West Primary School.

In a moving tribute, Woodhouse West described Connie as a ‘gentle girl who cherished her friends’, adding that she was ‘generous of spirit and had a big heart’.

Damien Bendall, of Chandos Crescent, has been charged with murdering Terri and the three children.

The 31-year-old appeared at Derby Crown Court by video link last month and was remanded in custody at HMP Wakefield ahead of a trial on March 1 next year.

He is next due to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on November 26 for a review of the case.

An inquest opening at Chesterfield Coroner's Court on September 27 heard that a relative of Bendall had called Dorset Police to say the defendant had sustained a self-inflicted stab wound.

Area coroner Peter Nieto was told officers were met by Bendall at the address and, following a further conversation with the suspect, entered the house where they found the bodies of the four victims.