A man accused of murdering a mum, her two kids and their friend at a sleepover is ‘indisputably responsible’ for causing their deaths, a court has heard.
Damien Bendall, 31, is accused of raping and murdering 11-year-old Lacey Bennett, killing her brother John, 13, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, 11.
He is also accused of murdering his partner Terri Harris, 35, who was mum to little Lacey and John at their home in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, in September last year.
Police discovered the four bodies after visiting the address and an inquest has since heard they all died of “horrific injuries”.
Today (26 January), Bendall, of Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, appeared at Derby Crown Court where he was due to enter his pleas to four counts of murder and one of rape.
Wearing a grey jumper and denim jeans, he entered the court flanked by five security guards and spoke only to confirm his name during the ten-minute hearing.
The court heard it would not be disputed that Bendall caused the deaths but there were delays to the case which resulted in no pleas being entered this morning.
Judge Nirmal Shant said “it is not an issue that the defendant caused the deaths” before adjourning the case for a trial to take place on 21 March.
The judge also ordered Bendall to return to Derby Crown Court on 25 February to enter his pleas.
She said: “Damien Bendall, please stand. You are expected to back on this court on February 25 to answer this indictment.”
Derbyshire Police previously said officers were called to the house at 7.36am on 20 September after reports of concerns for a man’s welfare.
After discovering the bodies, police later arrested Bendall, who was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries which detectives believe were self-inflicted.
The offences are alleged to have taken place at some point between Friday, September 17 and Monday, 20 September.
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