A MAN has today appeared in court accused of murdering his girlfriend, her two children and one of their friends at a sleepover.
On Sunday, Damien Bendall (31), allegedly shot and killed Lacey, her 13-year-old brother John, and her friend Connie Gent, 11. The attack took place at a Killamarsh home in Derbys.
He is also accused of murdering his partner Terri Harris, 35, who is mum to little Lacey and John.
Bendall is now facing four murder charges between September 17th and September 20.
This afternoon, Bendall appeared via videolink from Ripley’s police station to the Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court.
He was wearing a grey sweatshirt with grey jogging pants and spoke only to confirm his birth date and name.
During the brief hearing, he kept his head down.
Bendall was placed in custody and will appear at Derby Crown Court next Friday.
On Sunday morning, an officer received a call regarding the safety of a male and officers were quickly called to the address.
They found the four victims of the tragedy dead at the scene.
Bendall was taken to hospital to be treated for “self-inflicted minor injuries” before being moved to custody.
Police confirmed a murder probe had been launched and said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the “isolated” incident.
They claimed that they had not been in touch with any of the involved.
Connie, John, Terri and Lacey were at the home to sleepover.
Jason Bennett, Lacey and John’s dad wept as they laid flowers near the house where they were discovered dead.
He addressed a floral tribute to his “TikTok queen” Lacey, saying he was “lost without you”.
A note read: “Look after your big brother and don’t wind him up.”
Jason also left a handwritten note at the house for John, reading: “My beautiful son, keep your kind heart shining while the angels are looking after you for me.”
He earlier posted a devastating tribute on Facebook alongside touching images of Lacey and John.
Jason wrote: “Absolutely broke my heart into a million parts.
“I failed to protect my precious babies sufficiently from the monsters and now they’ve been taken away from me.
“I am writing this because I am devastated after a four hour drive home. I just got the heartbreaking news that John, my handsome boy, and Lacey, my beautiful daughter, have been taken from me. Their mum Terri also lost it and Laceys best friends were also taken from the world.
“Life will never be again. You are both my greatest love. Please look after one another.
“Gone too soon with so much to live for. I wish I could hold you and kiss you and tell you how much i love you. Thank you for making my world. All my love dad. Xxx”Please look after each other.
Connie’s dad Charlie Gent paid tribute to his daughter, asking: “My Baby Girl whhhhyyy”.
He also urged parents to spend as much time with their kids “as possible” and said his “world” had been “taken away”.
Charlie said, “My little girl is gone. I can’t put into words how she feels or reacts rite now.
“Now, I have to accept the fact that I was unable 2 protect her as you promised.
“Fly safe baby girl I love you with all my heart n always will. Gonna miss u like crazy”.
Anyone with information has been asked to contact police online or on 101 quoting reference 302-190921.