A 31-year-old man charged with four counts of murder will face trial next year.

He was charged by police after a mother and three children were found dead in a house in Killamarsh, near Sheffield.

The bodies of John Paul Bennett, 13, Lacey Bennett, 11, their mother Terri Harris, 35, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, 11, were discovered at a property in Chandos Crescent on Sunday morning.

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They were found after police responded to a call about concerns for the safety of a man at the address at 7.26am, Derbyshire Police said.

The charges against Damien Bendall allege that he murdered all four victims on a day between Friday September 17 and Monday September 20.

Bendall wore a grey round-necked sweatshirt as he appeared by video-link at Derby Crown Court on Friday (September 24).

During a short hearing, he spoke only to confirm his name and that he could hear and see proceedings.

The defendant appeared from HMP Wakefield and was told he would face a trial on March 1 next year.

A review of the case will be held on November 26 at Nottingham Crown Court, the court heard.

He was not required to enter any pleas to the murder charges.

Bendall, of Chandos Crescent, was remanded in custody.

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