Gracie Spinks' parents call for stalking law change as petition passes 100,000

The parents of a woman who is thought to have been murdered by a former colleague say it is time for a change in the law to protect stalking victims.

Gracie Spinks, who was 23, was found dead in a field in Duckmanton near Chesterfield.

The body of her suspected killer, 35-year-old Michael Sellers, was found half a mile away. It is believed he had become obsessed with her in the months before her death.

A petition set up after Gracie died calling for better protection for victims of stalking has now passed 100,000 signatures – the number needed to be considered for discussion in Parliament.

Speaking to ITV News, Gracie's father Richard Spinks said: "I think we have got that people power now to make a difference."

Her mother Alison Heaton added: "We don't want other families going through this either if this can be avoided in the future yeah it's terrible it's horrendous."

Gracie was found dead on the morning of 18 June 2021 after going to tend to her horse, Paddy.

A petition calling for Gracie's Law has hit 100,000 signatures

The police watchdog launched an investigation over claims she reported Sellars to the police in February last year for stalking, four months before she was killed.

Five Derbyshire Police officers are being investigated over events leading up to her death.

They include a police sergeant and a constable, who have been served with misconduct notices by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The IOPC also said three other Derbyshire Police officers could face misconduct proceedings over the steps they took after a bag of weapons, including a hammer, an axe and some knives, was discovered in May 2021, close to where Ms Spinks was later found dead.

The Gracie's Law petition was created by nurse, Jackie Barnett-Wheatcroft, who says she was stalked as a teenager. She met with Safeguarding Minister Rachel Maclean MP on Tuesday, January 11.

She wants police forces to allocate specific funding to help victims.

Gracie was found dead in June 2021 in a field where she had gone to tend to her horse.