A man has been charged with the murders of his lover and three children who were sleeping over.

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A man has been charged with the murders of his lover and three children who were sleeping over.

A MAN was charged with murdering his lover, her two children, and a friend during a sleepover in court yesterday. Lacey Bennett, 11, her brother John Paul, 13, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, 11, were reportedly killed by Damien Bendall, 31, on Sunday.

At the semi-detached property in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, he is also accused of murdering Terri Harris, 35, the mother of Lacey and John Paul. Bendall appeared in court via video link yesterday, charged with four murders in Southern Derbyshire. Bendall appeared on the television with a shaved head, sitting in a chair, wearing a grey sweater and jogging trousers.

During the four-minute hearing, he simply spoke to confirm his name, date of birth, and residence. He didn’t take the stand and plead guilty. Deputy District Judge Gary Garland remanded Bendall in custody until tomorrow, when he will appear at Derby Crown Court.

The four deaths were discovered after police responded to a report regarding a man’s safety at the property at 7.26 a.m., according to Derbyshire police.

Lacey’s Sheffield-based friend Connie was staying with her.

Lacey and John Paul’s father, Jason Bennett, wept as he left flowers near the home where they were discovered dead on Monday. He wrote in a floral homage to Lacey, his “TikTok queen,” that he was “lost without you.”

“Take care of your big brother and don’t irritate him,” read a note. “My lovely son, keep your loving heart shining while the angels look after you for me,” Jason wrote in a note left at John’s house.

Charlie Gent, Connie’s father, paid tribute to his daughter, saying, “My Baby Girl whhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

He also urged parents to spend as much time as possible with their children, saying his world had been torn away from him.

“I can’t even put into words or even how 2 feel or respond right now, shouldn’t even be writing this,” Charlie continued.

“Now I have to live with the reality that I was powerless to protect her as you promised, and now she’s gone. Fly safe, darling child. I adore you and will always do so. I’m going to miss you like crazy.”

The deaths have sparked a flood of grief.

The three children’s memory would “live on forever,” according to Outwood Academy City in Sheffield, where they studied. “The children have bright futures ahead of them,” it said. “Brinkwire Summary News.”

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