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White Male Murdered Pregnant Woman, And Three Children

Devil: Damien Bendall

A white brute who murdered a pregnant woman and three children in Derbyshire will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was sentenced to a whole life prison term.

Damien Bendall pleaded guilty to murdering his then partner Terri Harris, her 11-year-old daughter Lacey Bennett, her 13-year-old son John Paul Bennett, and Lacey's 11-year-old friend Connie Gent.

He previously denied the murders but changed his pleas when he appeared at Derby Crown Court on Wednesday, where he also admitted raping Lacey.

The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, said the sexual crime was committed "in the grossest breach of trust" as the 11-year-old's life ebbed away.

He said "just punishment" required that the pedophile be kept in prison for the rest of his life in relation to each count of murder, and he also imposed another whole life order for the rape.

Lacey and John Paul were Ms Harris's children from a previous relationship, and Connie had been at the house in Killamarsh, near Sheffield, for a sleepover.

Connie was only due to stay for one night, but managed to get permission from her mother, fatefully extending her stay by another night - coinciding with the attacks, the court heard.

The ruthless pedophile, 32, is believed to have gone around the family home looking for his victims individually, and then attacking them in different rooms in order to kill them, the court was told.

He murdered the four victims at the house he shared with Ms Harris, 35, in what prosecutor Louis Mably KC told the court were "brutal, vicious and cruel attacks" on a "defenseless" woman and three children.

Mr Mably said Bendall attacked them with a claw hammer which he used to hit them over the head and on the upper body.

"Their skulls were smashed in" and "it was perfectly clear none of the victims stood a chance," Mr Mably added.

He continued: "One of the dreadful facts about this case is that during the attacks, the defendant raped 11-year-old Lacey."

R.I.P. (Rest In Piss): Terri Harris died along with her children Lacey and John Paul Bennett

Ms Harris and the three children were found dead in Chandos Crescent on 19 September last year.

After the white beast killed them, he took John Paul's games console, then went to Sheffield in a taxi, and there he exchanged the device for drugs, said Mr Mably.

Bendall would later tell police he had consumed "three to four bags of cocaine and then blacked out".

In an interview with officers at Ripley police station after he was arrested, Bendall told them: "I used the hammer."

He added: "Bet you don't usually get four murders in Killamarsh do you - well, five (murders), because my missus was having a baby."

Mr Mably said: "On the night of Saturday September 17, 2021, stretching into the early hours of September 19, the defendant brutally and viciously murdered his then partner, Terri Harris, who is aged 35 - and was in the early stages of pregnancy.

"He also murdered Terri's two children, by a previous partner, her 13-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter Lacey, and he murdered Connie Gent, also aged 11.

"She was a friend of Lacey's who just happened that evening to be staying at Lacey's house for a sleepover."

John and Lacey's father, Jason Bennett, said that the murder had "destroyed" him and that life now seemed "pointless".

In a victim impact statement, he said: "It's like my heart has been shattered into a billion pieces never to be repaired. I'm a shadow of my former self, I am nothing... I have lots of love around me but the love I crave off my beautiful kids, I can't have that, that's a hole that can never be filled."

Connie's father Charles Gent said no sentence would ever be sufficient justice for his daughter's death adding: "The man who carried out the crimes can only be described as truly evil and should never be free from incarceration, just like the families of the victims in this case will never be free from their life sentence as a result of the shocking and abhorrent crimes he committed on a defenseless woman and children."

After sentencing, Andrew Baxter from the CPS said: "It is hard to put into words the scale of Damien Bendall's barbaric and horrifying actions. He went through the house looking for the victims until he had killed them all, raping one of the children in the attack.

"What he did left two families utterly devastated by grief and a community in bewilderment and shock."

Earlier, Mr Mably told the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, that prosecutors were seeking a whole life term for Bendall, given the gravity of the offenses.


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