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

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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 on Sunday, September 19, in her home in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, alongside her children, Lacey Bennett, 11, and John Paul Bennett, 13.

Their 11-year-old friend, Connie Gent, was also killed after she went over for a sleepover.

Damien Bendall, 31, has since 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.

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. I know we've lost somebody but he's lost even more. "

Ms Bennett said John Paul wanted to be an engineer and Lacey "was just a girly-girl".

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."

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 house is semi-detached, of a prefabricated design, with a large playing field on one side, which was also cordoned off.

There were a number of blue police tents in the front garden and forensics officers were conducting inquiries.

  • Crime

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