Killamarsh deaths: Tragic Lacey and Connie pictured raising money for charity just hours before they were killed

BEST friends Lacey Bennett and Connie Gent pose behind their stall selling sweets for charity — hours before they were brutally killed.

The pair, both 11, loaded a table with goodies on Saturday to raise money for cancer research after meeting a local sufferer — but that night their sleepover ended in bloodshed.


Lacey’s care worker mum, Terri Harris, 35, who was believed pregnant, and brother, John, 13, also died.

It is believed all four were killed in their beds at the semi in ­Killamarsh, Derbys.

Suspect Damien Bendall, 31, was arrested at the property and taken to hospital, said police, with “self-inflicted minor injuries”. He was released later into police custody.

Last night, as he continued to be quizzed, details of the hours leading up to the gruesome deaths emerged.

Connie had arrived at Lacey’s on Saturday afternoon and the pals began preparing their fundraiser They drew posters and put a flyer on a climbing frame in the nearby park.

The duo then raided Terri’s kitchen cupboards for stock, piling lollies, biscuits, bubble gum and even a movie night cupcake kit on the living room table.

'Thank you for your support'

The price-list cheekily read: “Half of money going to Cancer Research.” It continued: “Lollys = 10p, Soreen = 20p, sugar free lollys = 5p, Bubble Gum = 20p,” Shortbread was 50p.

Proud Terri went on an online forum for Killamarsh to say the kids were inspired by a local superstore worker with cancer.

She wrote: “My kids have raised some money and would like to put it in the lady’s box.”

One resident replied: “My niece bought some lollies from them, they were very pleasant and polite. A real credit to you.” Another wrote: “I met the girls too. They were lovely raising money for Cancer Research. Hubby enjoyed his biscuits.”

Terri replied: “I’d like to thank you all for the lovely comments. The kids will be back out tomorrow at the park or Chandos Crescent – thank you for your support.”

Later that night neighbours heard shouting at the home before all went quiet. One said: “I don’t think anyone thought to call police. They arrived at about 7.30am next day and were joined by an ambulance crew. They found the bodies inside. It must have been awful.”

I met the girls too. They were lovely raising money for Cancer Research. Hubby enjoyed his biscuits.

Officers were combing through parkland and lifting drains yesterday looking for a weapon. Forensic tents were set up.

A sea of floral tributes grew. Terri’s friend Claire Beardow said: “You were loved by so many people. It still hasn’t sunk in and I feel sick to the stomach.”

Claire Greensmith said: “I can’t believe you have gone..”

Lacey and John’s heartbroken gran, Diane Bennett, said: “They’re innocent little things. I just wish we could have done more.” The kids went to Outwood Academy City in Sheffield. In a statement, it said: “Our hearts are broken. The children had bright futures.”

It added that Lacey and Connie had “already made a positive impression” after recently starting at the school. It said John “was a popular and polite.”

Police appealed for video footage of the area between 6pm on Saturday and 7am on Sunday, including dashcam, mobile phone, CCTV or video doorbell. A GoFundMe page for the victims’ families had raised more than £15,000 last night.



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