Damien Bendall Wiki
Damien Bendall Biography
A boyfriend who murdered his pregnant partner and their three young children will die in jail after receiving a rare lifetime fee.
Damien Bendall, 32, raped and murdered Lacey Bennett, 11, her brother John Paul Bennett, 13, their mother and his girlfriend, Terri Harris, 35, and Connie Gent, 11, in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, last year.
Speaking about what is his last day before retirement, Judge Nigel Sweeney did not hesitate to impose the rare punishment, which means that he will never be released.
He showed little faith in Bendall’s pathetic attempt to explain away the murders by claiming he was brain-damaged, something his own lawyer said he had not provided any evidence. His drug use was also not accepted as a mitigating factor.
Damien Bendall has accepted that he killed 11-year-old Lacey Bennett, her brother John Paul Bennett, 13, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and 11-year-old Connie Gent in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, last year.
The bodies of Lacey Bennett, left, her mother Terri Harris, center, and her brother, John Paul, right, were found at the family home in Sheffield on September 19, 2021.
Lacey Bennett, left, her mother Terri Harris, center, and her brother, John Paul, were killed.
The judge told him: ‘You have a significant history of violent crime.
“In April 2020, you began a relationship with Terri Harris that became abusive and controlling, distancing Terri from her family.
‘On September 18, you carried out a vicious and brutal assault against a defenseless woman and three children. You attacked Lacey downstairs and took her upstairs where you raped her on the bed where her mother had been murdered as her life ebbed away.
Earlier, Lacey and John’s father, Jason, said of his agony that he would never be able to ‘kiss them and tell them I love them’ again.
And her grandmother and Terri’s mother, Angela Smith, said, ‘I told John and Lacey there were no monsters. How wrong I was!
Bendall had previously attempted to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but was rejected by the prosecution.
At Derby Crown Court this morning, he finally admitted to murdering and raping schoolgirl Lacey during the attack on September 18 last year.
Prosecutor Louis Mably KC said Bendall, who once bragged about killing a dog with a brick, murdered each victim in a different room in the house with a claw hammer.
He said Lacey was raped while she was dying, adding: “The circumstances are really dire.” Terri was in the early stages of pregnancy.
“It appears that the defendant went through the house looking for them and attacking each one in turn.
‘These were brutal, vicious and cruel attacks on a defenseless woman and three young children.
The defendant attacked them with a claw hammer which he used to hit them on the head and upper body.
But in August 2021, she told a friend that she and the defendant were trying to have a baby, at which point she told her mother that she intended to marry him.
On the day of the attacks, the children had set up a stall outside the house selling sweets to raise money for Cancer Research.
Phone evidence, including text messages, helped explain the sequence of events and sheds light on the deteriorating relationship between Bendall and Terri.
Mr Mably said: “One piece of evidence is a piece dated from September 16, just before the weekend in question, when a neighbor was on the pavement on Chandos Crescent and was directly across the road from the home when he saw the defendant leave the property and yell ‘this isn’t over yet’.
“The witness thought at the time that he would not let anyone talk to her that way.”
The court heard that Bendall had a meeting that day and it appeared to the practitioner that he was not under the influence of drink and drugs and stated that she was abstaining.