Model Gracie Spinks, 23, died from stab wound to the neck after being 'murdered by stalker', inquest told

A MODEL and horse rider found dead on a farm in a suspected murder-suicide died from a stab wound to the neck, an inquest heard today.

Gracie Spinks, 23, was discovered in a field in the picturesque village of Duckmanton, Derbys, on June 18.

Heartbroken pals say she had been hounded by former colleague Michael Sellers in the period leading up to her death.

The 35-year-old was found dead in a nearby field later the same morning.

An inquest into Gracie's death heard today how she was last seen alive by her mum Alison Heaton on the morning of her death.

Two people who discovered her lying on the ground in a pool of blood initially believed she had been kicked by her beloved horse Paddy.

A post-mortem later found Gracie died from a stab wound to the neck that cut her spine and a major artery.


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.

The inquest, which was adjourned due to the police investigation, was told there was no evidence of sexual assault.

Pals previously told how Sellers had become "obsessed" with Gracie after they went on a date and repeatedly showed up at her stables.

They also set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the care of her horse Paddy following the tragedy.

Gracie's mum paid tribute toher "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 for Police Conduct (IOPC) because of previous contact with Gracie earlier this year.

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