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Man charged with murders of ‘beautiful’ mum and kids found dead at sleepover

A man has been charged with the murders of a mum and three children who were found dead at a sleepover.

Mum Terri Harris (35), died in Killamarsh in Derbyshire on Sunday, September 19. She was also survived by her children, Lacey Bennett (11), and John Paul Bennett (13).

Connie Gent, their 11-year old friend, was also murdered after she went over to a sleepover.

Damien Bendall, 31 has been charged with the murders.

He will appear at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court later today.

The kids’ grandmother Diane Bennett visited the scene on Tuesday morning, September 21 – a day after her son, Jason Bennett, had become distraught as he read the tributes left to his children.

Mum Terri Harris and her children, Lacey, 11, and John, 13
Mum Terri Harris died alongside her children, Lacey, 11, and John, 13

Ms Bennett said: “There are so many people bringing flowers, teddy bears.”

Asked about the children, she said: “They were beautiful, well-mannered, did anything for anybody.

“But at the moment it’s my son I’m worried about. We’ve lost someone, but he’s also lost more. “

Ms Bennett said John Paul wanted to be an engineer and Lacey “Was just a girly girl.”

Connie Gent
Lacey’s friend Connie Gent was also killed

A fundraising page set up on GoFundMe for the families of the victims has now raised more than £20,000.

Connie’s dad Charlie Gent paid tribute to his daughter, writing a Facebook post which reads: “Parents – spend as much time with your kids as you possibly can.

“If you’re a parent and arguing, please don’t stop that child from seeing the other parent.

“You never know what’s round the corner… I’ve learnt the hard way, like most things in life, and it’s too late.”

The children pictured with their dad Jason Bennett
The children pictured with their dad Jason Bennett

Chandos Crescent was sealed off after the incident, with a number of officers patrolling the street and many police vehicles parked on the surrounding roads.

The semi-detached house has a prefabricated design and a large play area on one side.

The front yard was dotted with blue police tents and officers from forensics were on the scene conducting investigations.

Man charged with murders of 'beautiful' mum and kids found dead at sleepover
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.


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