Murdered Gracie Spinks' pals vow to 'get justice' after she was 'let down' before 'killer stalker' death

PALS of murdered Gracie Spinks have vowed to "get justice" after she was "let down by those there to protect her".

The six-foot blonde model, 23, is believed to have been killed by a man who stalked her after she refused his advances.

Michael Sellers, 35, is said to have fatally injured Gracie as she tended to her beloved horse Paddy on Friday morning in Duckmanton, Derbyshire.

His body was then found a short time later across fields half a mile away in an apparent murder-suicide.

Sellers, from Sheffield, is said to be a former work colleague.

Pals told how Gracie had filed a restraining order against him after he became "obsessed with her" following a date and continued to turn up at the stables.

They said the aspiring eventer and show jumper told how she had recently been "bothered by a weird man who was totally obsessed with her".

Now the Sun Online can reveal a number of Gracie’s friends plan to come forward and tell police how she repeatedly voiced concerns.

One said: "She was let down by those there to protect her. The signs had been there all along."

Another said last night: "Gracie’s death has left her family, friends and an entire community bereft and heartbroken. We will get justice for her."

The vow comes as her heartbroken pals plan to hold a vigil on June 28 to remember her life and step up by their bid for justice. 

Gracie's friends have already raised thousands on a GoFundMe page to look after Paddy.

Her pal Abbey Griffin, who launched the fundraiser, said: "Gracie was a beautiful girl, at just 23 years old she had already touched so many people’s life and what gorgeous memories she leaves behind.

"Just to make you aware that all donations will be given to Gracie's family to care for Paddy, her horse who she leaves behind. This is at her family’s request. Thank you all."

She added: "If you knew Gracie you'd also know she was horsey mad and had the most gorgeous horse called Paddy whom she loved dearly."

Well wisher Lawson Howling, among hundreds, wrote: "It's hard to articulate the sense of loss suffered by so many. She radiated warmth and kindness.

"Seeing her just brightened your day. Such a cruel world didn't deserve her. My most sincere condolences to her friends and family."


Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available every day from 10am-6pm.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247

Kirstie Akeroyd added: "Rest in peace Gracie, may you carry on galloping in the sky."

In a Facebook post, Gracie's mum, Alison Heaton, paid tribute to her "beautiful daughter", who has been "taken away from me, her dad and brother and sister and everyone who loved and cared for her".

She also shared a photograph of Gracie with the tag "stop violence against women".

Derbyshire Police has referred itself to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) following Gracie's death — although it declined to give the reason.

Cops have been accused of failing to investigate a cache of weapons found 100 yards from where she was killed.

The Sun on Sunday revealed how a dog walker had found a murder kit filled with knives, an axe and a note saying "Don’t lie" close to the spot where Gracie died, six weeks before she was killed.

In a statement, Derbyshire cops said: "We can confirm that a member of the public found a bag containing weapons in Duckmanton in May and handed this in to police."

An IOPC spokesman added: "We have been notified that a referral is being made by the force.

"When we receive it, we will carry out an assessment to determine what further action is needed by us."

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