Man Who 'Calmly' Admitted to Murdering Girlfriend, 3 Children In Arrest Video Given 5 Life Sentences

Damien Bendall, 32, will spend the rest of his life behind bars after pleading guilty to the murders of his pregnant girlfriend, her two young children and a child who was sleeping over the night of the crimes. He also pleaded guilty to raping one of the children.

On September 19, 2021, Derbyshire police received a call from Bendall in which he said, “I need the police and the ambulance here now because I’ve killed four people.” When officers arrived, he then “calmly” — as police put it — and without emotion told them, “I know what’s going to happen. I’m going to go to prison, obviously. Again. I’ve murdered four people.”

He also reportedly told them, “Bet you don’t usually get four murders in Killamarsh do you? Well, I mean five ’cause my missus was having a baby.”

Derbyshire Constabulary released the chilling arrest footage on Wednesday, after he admitted to the crimes during a court hearing earlier in the day.

In court, Bendall confessed to murdering pregnant Terri Harris, 35, her children, 13-year-old John-Paul Bennett and 11-year-old Lacey Bennett, and Lacey’s friend, who was at the home for a sleepover, 11-year-old Connie Gent. He also pleaded guilty to raping Lacey.

He was given five life sentences by Lord Justice Nigel Sweeney, meaning he will never be released from prison, unless, per the BBC, there are “exceptional compassionate circumstances.”

“You began a relationship with Terri Harris in April 2020. During the course of that you were abusive and controlling. You took various drugs and were violent and unstable,” Sweeney said while issuing the sentencing.

“On the evening of Saturday 18 September while with Terri and the three children you were under the influence of cocaine and cannabis. You carried out a brutal and vicious attack on a defenceless woman and three children during which you went around the house attacking them, hitting them multiple times about the head and upper body with a claw hammer,” he continued. “It is accepted that the seriousness of your offences is so exceptionally high the court must make a whole-life order. I agree.”

Detective Inspector Mark Shaw, who helped lead the investigation added in a release: “The level of force and violence which was used in these attacks show they were carried out with one intention, and that was to take the lives of Terri, John-Paul, Lacey and Connie.”

“They had all, by the nature of their relationship, come to trust Bendall and he took the opportunity to shatter that trust and carry out the horrendous acts. The force and weapon he used would have meant they were very quickly left incapacitated,” added Shaw. “It is also impossible to comprehend the nature of the further attack on Lacey for all those involved.”

Family members made impact statements in court on Wednesday as well, including one from Lacey and John’s father, Jason Bennett.

“Occasionally I do become distracted from what has happened, then | realise they are not here and my mind goes back to the trauma of how they died,” he said, via DailyMail. “I am living in a continual nightmare, I have a story in my head of how they died, I live their trauma and feel their pain, it feels like a reoccurring punishment. John and Lacey were innocent. I am angry and sad they have been taken away from me.”

“It’s like my heart has been shattered into a billion pieces never to be repaired,” he continued. “I’m a shadow of my former self, I am nothing. I can’t kiss them, I can’t tell them I love them and get an answer back, I feel broken that I will never get to hug them, squeeze them tight, I would give anything just to speak with them and say goodnight my beautiful.”

Added Connie’s father: “The pain is indescribable. I wake up every morning hoping this has all been a terrible nightmare, but it’s not. It’s the unbearable reality that my little girl has gone. Fly safe my angel. They came for you and left me behind. I could never say goodbye, so I’ll see you soon. I love you more than you can possibly imagine forever and always.”

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