A man accused of murdering a mother and three children has been further charged with raping one of the girls he’s alleged to have killed.
Damien Bendall, 31, is now alleged to have raped and murdered 11-year-old Lacey Bennett, as well as being accused of killing her brother John Paul Bennett, 13, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, 11.
The charges come after four bodies were discovered at a house in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, near Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on 19 September.
Bendall was due before Nottingham Crown Court on Friday for a plea hearing, but the case was adjourned to 4 January at the crown court in Derby.
The murder charges allege he killed all four on a day between Friday September 17 and Monday, 20 September.
Bendall charged with rape after evidence review
In a statement, the CPS said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised a further charge for Damien Bendall, 31, after reviewing a file of evidence from Derbyshire Police. He has now been charged with rape of a girl under 13.
“Mr Bendall was previously charged with four counts of murder in relation to an incident in Killamarsh, Derbyshire.
“The additional charge was today confirmed to the court at a hearing held at Nottingham Crown Court.
“All are reminded that criminal proceedings against the defendant are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.