A sick boyfriend who boasted of being a gangster raped his pregnant girlfriend’s small daughter while murdering her entire family and a friend who was visiting for a sleepover.
Last year in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, heavy cannabis smoker Damien Bendall murdered Lacey Bennett, 11, her brother John Paul Bennett, 13, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and 11-year-old Connie Gent.
The prosecution had already rejected his attempt to plead guilty to manslaughter through diminished culpability.
But this morning at Derby Crown Court, he finally acknowledged to murdering and raping schoolgirl Lacey during the September 2017 incident.
Prosecutor Louis Mably KC stated that Bendall, who once boasted of murdering a dog with a brick, murdered each victim with a claw hammer in a different room of the house.
He stated that Lacey was raped as she lay dying and added, ‘The circumstances are simply abhorrent.’ Terri was in her early pregnant phases.
It appears that the defendant searched the residence for the victims and attacked each one individually.
Last year in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, Damien Bendall guilty to murdering Lacey Bennett, 11, her brother John Paul Bennett, 13, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and 11-year-old Connie Gent.
Lacey Bennett, her mother Terri Harris, and her brother John Paul perished together.
Terri initially relocated to Killamarsh in September 2020 and attempted to conceal her address from Bendall, whom she had met on a dating website.
In August 2021, however, she disclosed to a friend that she and the defendant were attempting to conceive, and about the same time, she told her mother that she intended to marry him.
On September 19, the four bodies of the family were discovered in a property in Killamarsh, Derbyshire.
Bendall’s cousin contacted Dorset Police to report that he had self-inflicted a stab wound.
After speaking with the assailant at the front entrance of the residence, he allowed the officers to enter.
Inside, they discovered his rampage and the four deaths on the grounds.
Connie Gent, age 11, was murdered alongside Lacey, John, and their mother, Terri Harris, while attending a sleepover at a Killamarsh residence.
The community, shocked by the deaths, placed floral tributes at the Derby crime site.
Bendall was infamous in the region as a notorious local criminal.
Now that the pleas have been filed, it can be revealed that he has had previous run-ins with the law, including arson in May 2020 when he set a BMW worth £1,350 on fire.
When he murdered, he was serving a suspended sentence for this crime.
The father of John and Lacey, Jason Bennett, paid them a poignant tribute at the time of their murders.
In statement he said ‘I’ve been left broken. I’m devastated. John and Lacey brought so much love and happiness into our life, and their older sisters and I will always cherish and remember them.
Additionally, we would like to thank everyone for their support and extend our condolences to those impacted by the awful loss of four beautiful lives.
Angela Smith and Lawrence Harris, Ms. Harris’s parents, hailed her as a “wonderful mother” who “laid herself out not only for her family and friends, but for everyone who needed her support.”
They continued, ‘She adored her job as a caregiver and would go above and beyond for the individuals she cared for.
Not just by her family, but also by anybody who had the honor of being a part of her life, will she be sorely mourned beyond description.
Charles Gent, the father of Connie, stated, “The pain is unfathomable.” I hope every morning that this has all been a nightmare, but it hasn’t been. It is an intolerable fact that my little girl has disappeared.
Connie was a celebrity in every respect. She possessed a special talent; if someone was sad, she could instantly make them feel better.
She made a difference in the lives of everyone she encountered, even in difficult times. Connie has the capacity to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
‘Fly safe my angel. They came for you but abandoned me. I could never say goodbye, therefore I look forward to seeing you soon. I adore you more than you could ever fathom forever and ever.