Terri Harris Killamarsh: Funeral held for 'amazing' mum killed along with three children
Amid a clear blue sky, there was a solemn atmosphere in Killamarsh today as family and friends said their final goodbyes to 'much-loved' Terri Harris.
Terri, aged 35, died at her Chandos Crescent home in Killamarsh alongside her two children John Paul Bennett, 13, daughter Lacey Bennett, 11 and Lacey’s best friend Connie Gent, also 11, on Sunday, September 19.
Police officers made the grim discovery after being called to the street over concerns for the welfare of a man.
When they entered a house in the street they found four bodies.
A month later, on Thursday, October 21, her life was celebrated by her loved ones and those mourning her untimely death as they gathered at St Giles Parish Church in the village to pay their respects to the mother-of-two.
Terri, an avid West Ham United fan, had her casket covered in the football team's flag, and blue and claret ribbons were tied on the church's gate and several lamp posts throughout the village.
Favourite Ed Sheeran song played at funeral
In a moving private service attended by her friends and extended family, Reverend Helen Guest said Terri is remembered to have been very generous with her smile and loved by many.
She said their deaths were tragic as Terri was just helping her daughter Lacey and Lacey’s friend Connie to raise money for a cancer charity by selling sweets the day before.
People gathered outside the church remained silent and had their heads down as the service was delivered and transmitted over loud speakers to those in attendance.
Terri's favourite song was Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran, which was played during the service.
Afterward, Terri's loved ones released a pair of white doves from their grasp, as well as a swarm of blue and pink balloons, into the sky.
The service concluded just before 3pm, as the funeral procession left the church for a private cremation at Chesterfield Crematorium.
Deaths a result of ‘violent attack
Terri and her children used to live in Woodhouse, Sheffield, before moving to Killamarsh. Connie, who was at a sleepover at her best friend's house when she died, still lived in the city suburb.
The youngsters used to attend a primary school in Woodhouse and were all students at Outwood Academy City in Stradbroke at the time of their deaths.
Terri was born and raised in the east end of London until she was 17, when she moved to Sheffield with her mum, travelling to Essex when she could to be with her dad.
Her parents, Angela Smith and Lawrence Harris, described her as an amazing mum, saying her babies were her world.
Damien Bendall, 31, of Chandos Crescent has been charged with four counts of murder.
An inquest opening at Chesterfield Coroner's Court on September 27 heard 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.
He said said the court was awaiting full post-mortem reports but added that the four died following a ‘violent attack’.
The inquest was suspended pending the conclusion of criminal proceedings.