Gracie Spinks: Parents believe daughter's death could have been avoided

Gracie Spinks was an accomplished  horse woman with her whole life ahead of her. On what would have been her 24th birthday her parents today recalled the daughter they loved and  lost.

Her mother Alison Heaton described her as a 'fun loving, animal lover,' with a 'beautiful smile' and that she 'lit up the room'. She said Gracie had a 'great circle of friends, a great social life' and was a 'really talented girl.'

But Gracie was found dead on June the 18th this year in a  field where she had gone to tend to her horse in Duckmanton.

The body of her suspected stalker - and suspected killer - 35 year old Michael Sellers was found half a mile away.

Gracie had complained to police about his actions. Her father, RIchard Spinks said he had been 'pestering' her for messages and had asked her work colleagues 'where she had been and what she had been doing.'

Her parents said the police took a statement from Gracie but they don't know if they 'followed it up' with him.

In May  - weeks before Gracie died - a member of the public had handed in a bag of weapons they had found in the area.

Gracie's mother Alison said:"This bag had been found across the road and handed into the police and again we don't know what the police did with that but they did not join up the dots - the fact that Gracie had made a complaint and that bag was found across the road from her horse field."

The body of Gracie Spinks was found in this field near Staveley Road in Duckmanton

Gracie's parents now want people to back an online petition calling for more resources to be devoted to help those who report stalking incidents.

Her father Richard added: "The petition is for funding for advocates of stalking. To get dedicated bespoke people in various constabularies to deal with stalking complaints so everything is flagged up and logged into the system."

Derbyshire Police have already referred themselves to the Independent  Office for Police Conduct.

Gracie's family are hoping change will come in the aftermath of her tragic death.