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Tragic story of Gracie Spinks whose life was brutally reduce quick by her stalker ex-colleague after she turned him down…as her heartbroken household go away her bed room untouched and blast police for ‘partly killing her’

Tragic story of Gracie Spinks whose life was brutally reduce quick by her stalker ex-colleague after she turned him down…as her heartbroken household go away her bed room untouched and blast police for ‘partly killing her’


Gracie Spinks’ bed room has remained untouched because the day her life was so brutally snuffed out two-and-a-half years in the past.

Her towel stays on the radiator the place Gracie left it to dry the night time earlier than she was captured on CCTV leaving dwelling for the ultimate time, an empty crisp packet and a plate lie on the desk beside her unmade mattress.

Alison Ward informed a sobbing inquest jury – who concluded on Thursday that Gracie was unlawfully killed by ‘obsessed’ former work colleague Michael Sellers – that she ‘can not bear’ to maneuver any of the belongings part-time mannequin and artist Gracie left behind.

‘Her water cup is on the windowsill and her purse is the place she left it and her garments stay on the ground’, she stated. ‘I can not bear to the touch something’, Mrs Ward stated.

Gracie was stabbed ten occasions at Blue Lodge Farm within the village of Duckmanton, Derbyshire, as she tended to her beloved horse, Paddy, in June 2021. The deadly wound was to her neck.

Gracie Spinks was unlawfully killed by the man she had reported for stalking, an inquest jury has unanimously concluded

Gracie Spinks was unlawfully killed by the person she had reported for stalking, an inquest jury has unanimously concluded

Gracie was stabbed ten times at Blue Lodge Farm in the village of Duckmanton, Derbyshire, as she tended to her beloved horse, Paddy, in June 2021

Gracie was stabbed ten times at Blue Lodge Farm in the village of Duckmanton, Derbyshire, as she tended to her beloved horse, Paddy, in June 2021

Gracie was stabbed ten occasions at Blue Lodge Farm within the village of Duckmanton, Derbyshire, as she tended to her beloved horse, Paddy, in June 2021

Gracie’s father Mr Spinks has accused police of shelving his daughter’s considerations 

Ms Spinks, 23, was fatally stabbed by 35-year-old Michael Sellers (pictured) as she tended to her horse at Blue Lodge Farm in Duckmanton, Derbyshire, on June 18 2021. Sellers was later found dead a short distance away

Ms Spinks, 23, was fatally stabbed by 35-year-old Michael Sellers (pictured) as she tended to her horse at Blue Lodge Farm in Duckmanton, Derbyshire, on June 18 2021. Sellers was later found dead a short distance away

Ms Spinks, 23, was fatally stabbed by 35-year-old Michael Sellers (pictured) as she tended to her horse at Blue Lodge Farm in Duckmanton, Derbyshire, on June 18 2021. Sellers was later discovered lifeless a brief distance away

The physique of fun-loving Gracie, who liked enjoying and singing alongside to Adele hits on her piano, was found by a mom and little one who have been visiting their very own horses. As they arrived on the stables simply after 8am they noticed a person operating away.

A police dragnet was launched to seek out Sellers, with native companies issued his description and a major college positioned into lockdown.

However by lunchtime, officers despatched phrase that the state of affairs had been ‘resolved’ – 35-year-old Sellers’ physique had been discovered beneath a bush on the sting of a discipline half a mile away. He’s believed to have killed himself – the denouement of a six month marketing campaign of harassment and stalking of Gracie which the Derbyshire Constabulary had failed to research.

Mrs Ward was at work when she obtained a surprising name informing her ‘stunning’ Gracie had been discovered within the discipline, lined in blood.

She described how she ‘dropped all the things’ and rushed to the scene within the village of Duckmanton, Derbyshire, wrestling with the likelihood that one of many horses on the secure block had by some means injured her as she drove.

It was a situation she solely thought-about fleetingly although, as a result of Mrs Ward was all too conscious that Sellers had grow to be fixated on her daughter after the pair met at an e-commerce agency the place Gracie had began working.

The younger horsewoman had solely deliberate to work at Xbite’s warehouse in Markham Vale, Derbyshire, for a matter of weeks whereas on a pandemic-induced furlough from her lifeguard job. However the court docket heard she ‘progressed shortly’ on the firm and shortly accepted a everlasting place.

The coroner was informed how Gracie initially thought Sellers was ‘candy and caring’. She had met up with him a handful of occasions exterior work; at her dwelling, the Sheffield home the place he lived along with his mother and father, or for walks or a meal.

The family's semi-detached house in Old Whittington, Derbyshire

The family's semi-detached house in Old Whittington, Derbyshire

The household’s semi-detached home in Outdated Whittington, Derbyshire

Ms Spinks, a talented artist and part-time model, had spurned Sellers' romantic advances six months before her death

Ms Spinks, a talented artist and part-time model, had spurned Sellers' romantic advances six months before her death

Ms Spinks, a proficient artist and part-time mannequin, had spurned Sellers’ romantic advances six months earlier than her dying

However she known as time on their two month friendship after an incident in December 2020 whereas she was self-isolating, when Sellers visited her dwelling to gather one thing and was invited inside.

The court docket heard he ‘began kissing her and obtained on high of her’, and he or she needed to ask her to cease.

Gracie despatched him a textual content quickly afterwards saying he was a ‘nice man’ however she did not have time for a relationship. However the court docket heard he continued to try to interact together with her and would ask different workers for details about her at work.

A figurine of a horse's head still sits on Gracie's windowsill

A figurine of a horse's head still sits on Gracie's windowsill

A figurine of a horse’s head nonetheless sits on Gracie’s windowsill

The next month Gracie made considered one of her common journeys to see Paddy however noticed Sellers ready in an adjoining layby as she pulled up on the stables. Too scared to cease, she continued on to their office and reported ‘creepy’ Sellers to Human Sources.

Gracie described feeling ‘anxious and scared’ by Sellers’ actions – which included shopping for VW Scirocco after discovering it was her favorite automobile – and informed how he had different workers monitoring her social media for him.

Xbite had already obtained complaints about Sellers from different workers and he was dismissed for misconduct after Gracie was added to the record. Police investigations subsequently established that the loner and gymnasium obsessive had harassed or stalked a complete of eight different colleagues earlier than her, with some reporting that they’d stop their job and even moved home to flee him.

However with Sellers getting ‘weirder and weirder’, Gracie felt compelled to report him to police in February 2021 – 4 months earlier than he killed her.

She informed a 101 name handler Sellers ‘turned obsessive about me’ after she known as off their two-month friendship, and described how the layby incident ‘scared me quite a bit’.

She stated colleagues had informed her that this Sellers had displayed comparable behaviour with different ladies beforehand at work, and had obtained ‘worse and worse’ every time, to the purpose the place he was now monitoring her on office CCTV.

Mr Spinks described his daughter as an 'amazing and unique person'

Mr Spinks described his daughter as an 'amazing and unique person'

Mr Spinks described his daughter as an ‘superb and distinctive individual’ 

Ms Spinks stated she did not wish to pursue a prosecution however needed one thing on document as a result of she was fearful that ‘subsequent time he might kidnap somebody’.

Officers cautioned Sellers however didn’t request data from his employer about complaints in opposition to him or perform a nationwide database verify, and categorised him as ‘low danger’ – though he informed a constable that he thought he was in a relationship with Gracie.

The Computer, Sarah Parker, additionally admitted she had by no means seen a key danger evaluation type which all officers have been supposed to finish in stalking circumstances – and agreed she was ‘successfully left to her personal units’ on such circumstances, having obtained no coaching from her pressure on stalking. Lower than three months later, on Could 6 2021, a canine walker found a chilling cache of weapons in a rucksack dumped in a farm monitor at Duckmanton and contacted police.

However once more officers failed to research, though the Nike bag contained searching knives, an axe, a hammer, a packet of Viagra and a sinister notice which learn: ‘Do not lie’.

One constable, Jill Lee-Liggett, informed the inquest she thought the contents might be theatre props or to be used in a intercourse act.

The officer, who can be a member of the Nice Britain ladies’s bobsleigh squad, stated she might see no proof of blood on the weapons. They have been logged as misplaced property after her sergeant dissuaded Computer Lee-Liggett from investigating a receipt within the bag which might have led officers to Sellers’ door.

Gracie’s father, Richard, 68, an area radio DJ who previously labored as a broadcaster on the QE2, stated he solely came upon in regards to the weapons haul being found when he examine it on Fb on the day his daughter died. 

Mr Spinks stated he would have ‘taken each step to maintain her protected’, had he recognized. Within the early hours of that morning, the killer was seen on his personal safety digicam loading a field containing the homicide weapon into the again of his VW.

Following the homicide and obvious suicide of Sellers, police interviewed his mom, who informed officers she had seen knives in her son’s bed room two months earlier than the homicide. She informed him to eliminate the blades, including that Sellers had gone on a ‘downward spiral’ after dropping his job for harassing Ms Spinks. The inquest additionally heard that Sellers’ mom additionally discovered a bag of carrots and apples in his bed room the day earlier than Ms Spinks was killed – and have become involved the following day when she seen the bag had gone, as a result of she remembered Ms Spinks had a horse.

Ms Spinks (pictured) was stabbed 10 times at Blue Lodge Farm on June 18 2021

Ms Spinks (pictured) was stabbed 10 times at Blue Lodge Farm on June 18 2021

Ms Spinks (pictured) was stabbed 10 occasions at Blue Lodge Farm on June 18 2021

She reportedly went to seek for her son – heading within the route of Duckmanton – to inform him to ‘come dwelling’, however discovered the village cordoned off and so returned dwelling. Within the last days of the three-week inquest, Detective Superintendent Darren De’ath, who leads Derbyshire Constabulary’s public safety group, formally apologised to the Spinks household and informed the court docket the pressure ‘ought to have completed higher’.

Mr De’ath stated he was ‘appalled’ on the method the pressure had ‘failed’ to document and retain data in connection to Gracie’s report of stalking in February 2021, and the canine walker’s report in regards to the bag of weapons. Coroner Matthew Kewley informed jurors there was just one conclusion they may come to due to the character of the proof. However though he acknowledged that Derbyshire Constabulary had accepted its failings, he informed jurors it was not for them to ‘think about whether or not if any of those failings had not occurred, the result may need been completely different.’

As an alternative, he instructed jurors to reference the failings of their conclusion, so ‘there’s a clear document of the actual fact that there have been critical failings by the police’.

Exterior court docket, Mr Spinks and Mrs Ward, 52, accused officers of giving ‘absurd’ proof to the jury, including: ‘If that is the prevailing tradition of Derbyshire Constabulary, then this isn’t only a handful of dangerous apples however your complete rotten orchard.’

At a disciplinary assembly held by the pressure final November following an investigation by the police watchdog, two constables have been discovered to have breached requirements of police skilled behaviour for duties and obligations, and obtained written warnings in relation to the failure to research the bag of weapons correctly.

No motion might be taken in opposition to a sergeant as a result of he had retired.

Six weeks before 23-year-old Ms Spinks was murdered, a dog walker found a rucksack on a farm track just yards away from the spot where she fell. The bag contained an axe, hunting knives, Viagra, and a note that read 'Don't lie'.

Six weeks before 23-year-old Ms Spinks was murdered, a dog walker found a rucksack on a farm track just yards away from the spot where she fell. The bag contained an axe, hunting knives, Viagra, and a note that read 'Don't lie'.

Six weeks earlier than 23-year-old Ms Spinks was murdered, a canine walker discovered a rucksack on a farm monitor simply yards away from the spot the place she fell. The bag contained an axe, searching knives, Viagra, and a notice that learn ‘Do not lie’.

Potential breaches {of professional} requirements by a constable and sergeant have been discovered not confirmed at a separate listening to in relation to Gracie’s stalking report.

The disciplinary conferences present little consolation to Gracie’s devastated household.

Gracie’s brother Tom – who had efficiently utilized to grow to be a police officer with the Derbyshire pressure, till turning into ‘fully disillusioned’ after his sister’s dying and turning the job supply down – at this time stated the pressure had contributed to the dying of his sibling and ‘greatest good friend’.

Tom stated: ‘Folks I’ve spoken to have stated that if that’s the usual of policing in Derbyshire, no-one is protected in any respect.

‘The entire level of us talking out is to attempt to verify this does not occur once more.

He spoke on the household’s semi-detached home in Outdated Whittington, Derbyshire, the place a figurine of a horse’s head nonetheless sits on Gracie’s windowsill and the place she was as soon as the ‘life, soul and vitality of the home’.

Alison Ward and Richard Spinks, parents of Gracie Spinks with friends and family outside Chesterfield Coroners' Court after inquest jury has unanimously concluded that Gracie Spinks was unlawfully killed

Alison Ward and Richard Spinks, parents of Gracie Spinks with friends and family outside Chesterfield Coroners' Court after inquest jury has unanimously concluded that Gracie Spinks was unlawfully killed

Alison Ward and Richard Spinks, mother and father of Gracie Spinks with family and friends exterior Chesterfield Coroners’ Court docket after inquest jury has unanimously concluded that Gracie Spinks was unlawfully killed

The 24-year-old described Gracie’s room as ‘sacred floor’.

He stated: ‘We have now put some issues in there –playing cards from her funeral, and a reminiscence field – however we have not taken something out of her room in any respect.

‘There’s nonetheless garbage in her bin, and a can of her favorite cocktail that I purchased her remains to be on her windowsill.’

He stated police ‘performed a large half’ in Gracie’s dying, including: ‘In my eyes they partly killed her. ‘He (Sellers) was the one with the knife however they killed her by letting her down on so many various alternatives once they might have intervened.’

He added that if the household had recognized a bag of weapons was discovered simply yards from the place Gracie tended to her horse, ‘she would by no means have gone on her personal wherever.’

Mrs Ward stated the coroner wasn’t allowed to ask the jury to think about whether or not police failings contributed to Gracie’s dying – for the straightforward truth they did not act in any respect.

She added: ‘As a result of the police did not truly do something in any way or examine the case, it meant the jury could not be requested in the event that they’d failed. It’s a little bit of a authorized loophole, however they could not go for causation.

Ms Spinks (pictured) reported Sellers to the HR department at their workplace after seeing him parked in a layby near the field where her horse was stabled, on January 4 2021

Ms Spinks (pictured) reported Sellers to the HR department at their workplace after seeing him parked in a layby near the field where her horse was stabled, on January 4 2021

Ms Spinks (pictured) reported Sellers to the HR division at their office after seeing him parked in a layby close to the sphere the place her horse was stabled, on January 4 2021

‘We have been actually disillusioned the coroner could not instruct them legally to go for causation, however we understood why. I feel that if he might have, he would have. He was excellent all through the inquest at questioning the witnesses.’

She agreed that her daughter would nonetheless be alive if police had completed their job, including: ‘You encourage your daughter to do the fitting factor and ring 101. You set your religion within the police.

‘Little did we all know the police would do completely nothing, nothing in any respect.

‘We do imagine as a household that had the police acted in a different way, she would nonetheless be right here.’

She stated that when the household get better from the ‘traumatic inquest’ they hope to carry modifications nationally, presumably by talks at police coaching centres about their expertise.

She stated: ‘Sadly quite a lot of it’s common sense. If you happen to requested Joe Public what you considered that bag, they’d say it was sinister.’

Mrs Ward added: ‘We’ll by no means know, however hopefully we’ve already helped save lives by retaining Gracie’s story alive and on the market.

‘If we are able to simply save one individual’s life, it will likely be price it.’

The police pressure with an appalling document of defending ladies from stalkers: Derbyshire Police’s catalogue of failures laid naked 

Derbyshire police has an appalling document in the case of defending ladies from stalkers.

Showjumper Tania Moore, 26, was rammed off a rustic lane close to Alkmonkton in March 2004 and shot within the face by her former boyfriend Mark Dyche, then 36, after she broke off their engagement. 

She had repeatedly informed police about her fears following a theft at her stables, stalking and threats to gouge out her eyes and break her legs from the gun fanatic, who had a historical past of violence. 

However an investigation by the police watchdog stated that the pressure’s response was ‘abysmal – no officer took management and no significant investigation befell’ and fundamental traces of inquiry which could have prevented the tragedy had by no means been pursued. 

One police officer was later sacked, one other demoted and 4 others, together with a chief inspector, reprimanded. Dyche was jailed for all times after being convicted of homicide.

Showjumper Tania Moore, 26, (pictured) was rammed off a country lane near Alkmonkton in March 2004 and shot in the face by her former boyfriend Mark Dyche, then 36, after she broke off their engagement

Showjumper Tania Moore, 26, (pictured) was rammed off a country lane near Alkmonkton in March 2004 and shot in the face by her former boyfriend Mark Dyche, then 36, after she broke off their engagement

Showjumper Tania Moore, 26, (pictured) was rammed off a rustic lane close to Alkmonkton in March 2004 and shot within the face by her former boyfriend Mark Dyche, then 36, after she broke off their engagement

Mark Dyche (pictured) was jailed for life after being convicted of murder

Mark Dyche (pictured) was jailed for life after being convicted of murder

Mark Dyche (pictured) was jailed for all times after being convicted of homicide

Rachael Slack, 38, and her 23-month-old son Auden have been stabbed to dying of their dwelling by her ex associate Andrew Cairns in June 2010 – regardless of Rachael repeatedly telling police she feared for her life.

Within the weeks main as much as the murders, golf coach Cairns, then 44, had been sectioned beneath the Psychological Well being Act and arrested for threatening to kill Ms Slack. He attacked them at their dwelling in Holbrook simply 5 days after being launched on bail earlier than killing himself.

An preliminary report by the Impartial Police Criticism Fee (IPCC), which later turned the Impartial Workplace for Police Conduct (IOPC), stated police weren’t at fault. However a subsequent inquest, critical case evaluation and recent IPCC investigation stated extra might have been completed. 

Ms Slack had been assessed as at excessive danger of homicide, however she had not been knowledgeable of the hazard she was in or consulted on steps which might have made her safer.

Rachael Slack, 38, (pictured) and her 23-month-old son Auden have been stabbed to dying of their dwelling by her ex associate Andrew Cairns in June 2010 

During the horrific assault, Andrew Cairns (pictured) stabbed Rachael and Auden a total of 48 times, before turning the knife on himself

During the horrific assault, Andrew Cairns (pictured) stabbed Rachael and Auden a total of 48 times, before turning the knife on himself

Through the horrific assault, Andrew Cairns (pictured) stabbed Rachael and Auden a complete of 48 occasions, earlier than turning the knife on himself 

Helen Hancock and her new associate Martin Griffiths, who have been each killed within the early hours of New 12 months’s Day 2020 by her estranged husband, Rhys Hancock, after he came upon about their relationship.

A court docket heard Hancock was on police bail on the time of the murders after he allegedly threw an object at his spouse in October 2019, inflicting a laceration.

His mom had contacted police to warn that he was on the best way to Ms Hancock’s dwelling armed with two knives however officers couldn’t get to the home in time.

Hancock, previously a head instructor of a particular college, was jailed for all times with a minimal of 31 years in October 2020. 

The pressure referred itself to the IOPC as a result of contact between Derbyshire Police and Ms Hancock within the interval main as much as the murders.

Victim: Mother-of-three Helen Hancock (nee Almey, pictured), 39, was stabbed to death alongside her new partner Martin Griffiths

Victim: Mother-of-three Helen Hancock (nee Almey, pictured), 39, was stabbed to death alongside her new partner Martin Griffiths

Pictured: Martin Griffiths

Pictured: Martin Griffiths

Helen Hancock (left) and her new associate Martin Griffiths, (proper) have been each killed within the early hours of New 12 months’s Day 2020 by her estranged husband, Rhys Hancock, after he came upon about their relationship

The police mugshot of Rhys Hancock, 40, which was released after he was jailed for life

The police mugshot of Rhys Hancock, 40, which was released after he was jailed for life

The police mugshot of Rhys Hancock, 40, which was launched after he was jailed for all times

The IOC regarded on the actions of three Derbyshire Constabulary officers after Mrs Hancock reported a breach of a non-molestation order on 30 December 2019 – simply days earlier than she died. 

The investigation didn’t discover any proof the officers had responded aside from in accordance with present native and nationwide coverage and procedures.

However two officers got phrases of recommendation relating to Derbyshire Constabulary’s optimistic motion coverage and recording rationale behind determination making.

The investigation discovered that no motion might have been taken to stop the deaths of Mrs Hancock and Mr Griffiths.



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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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