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Man, 31, named as suspect who ‘killed 3 kids & mum on sleepover’

A 31-YEAR-old man has been named as the suspect who allegedly killed three young children and a mum.

Cops are quizzing a local man, believed to be Damien Bendall, over the deaths in Killamarsh, Derbys.

Terri Harris was also found dead in the house
Terri Harris was also found dead in the houseCredit: Facebook
Damien Bendall has been arrested on suspicion of murder
Damien Bendall has been arrested on suspicion of murder

Police were called to the house yesterday morning following reports of safety concerns for those at the address.

Terri Harris, 35, was found murdered at her home along with little John, 13, and Lacey, 11.

Football-mad Lacey’s best friend, Connie Gent, 11, was also killed at Saturday night’s slumber party.

Today the heartbroken dads of the three kids wept and said: “We couldn’t protect you.”

Jason Bennett, 30, laid flowers for his “Tik Tok Queen” and “beautiful boy” after the horror killings.

Mr Bennett, a Royal Mail worker, sobbed: “I didn’t protect my beautiful babies enough from the monsters and now they have been suddenly taken away from me.”

Their mum Terri was also killed along with Lacey’s best friend, Connie, who was staying the night.

Connie’s dad, Charlie Gent, 36, said: “My Baby Girl whhhhyyy.

“I can’t even put into words how to feel or react right now. I have to live with the fact I was helpless to protect her . . . and she’s gone.”

Jason also posted heartbreaking videos of the siblings enjoying their time together.

One, which has been dedicated to Jason’s “mini me”, shows beaming John enjoying himself on a merry-go-round in a playground as Lacey pushes him.

Around 300 people, including many children, gathered in Killamarsh to remember the victims.

Many took turns to place candles around a post in the centre of a park a few hundred metres from where they were found.

Others brought flowers and teddy bears.

And some at the vigil were in tears as the pastor of Killamarsh Church on the Street, David Taylor, led them in a prayer.

Mr Taylor said: “It’s a very sad today but it’s absolutely incredible that so many people have joined us tonight.

“What do you say at time like this? It’s so difficult.”

Derbyshire Police confirmed a murder probe had been launched and said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the “isolated” incident.

They said officers had no prior contact with those involved.

Close family of the victims have now been made aware and specially trained officers are with them.

A statement said: “This has been an understandably shocking event that has deeply affected the local community in Killamarsh, as well as Connie’s family and friends in Sheffield, and our thoughts are also with them.

“While understandably worrying and upsetting this is believed to be an isolated incident in which those involved were known to one another and nobody else is being sought in connection with the deaths.

“A team of detectives have been working through the night to understand the circumstances that led to their deaths and I would urge anyone with any information to come forward.

“Of particular interest is anyone who was in the Chandos Crescent area between 9.30pm on Saturday evening and 7.30am the following day and who may have information that would be helpful to the investigation.”

North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley described the deaths as “terrible
and hugely tragic”.

He said: “Our condolences to the family and our thoughts are with them.

“Killamarsh is such a lovely, close knit and warm community and I know
that many residents will be shocked and worried by the news.”

sunit

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