Horse rider Gracie Spinks, 23, killed in field attack had stalker and filed restraining order before murder, says pal

A HORSE lover killed in a field attack had been hounded by a stalker and took out a restraining order against him, her close pals revealed today.

Tragic Gracie Spinks, 23, a part-time model, was found critically injured in the picturesque village of Duckmanton, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, yesterday morning.

Gracie Spinks was found dead in the village of Duckmanton, Derbys

Gracie Spinks was found dead in the village of Duckmanton, DerbysCredit: Facebook

The 23-year-old was known to be an avid horse rider

The 23-year-old was known to be an avid horse riderCredit: Facebook

Her body was discovered at 8.40am on Friday, before a man was discovered dead nearby at 11am

Her body was discovered at 8.40am on Friday, before a man was discovered dead nearby at 11am

It is believed she was brutally attacked while she was tending her beloved horse Paddy.

Paramedics rushed to Staveley Road at 8.40am – five miles from her home in Old Whittington – in a desperate bid to save her life but she tragically died at the scene. 

The body of a man in his thirties was found a short time later across fields half a mile away.

Devastated pals of the aspiring eventer and show jumper told how she had recently been “bothered by a weird man who was totally obsessed with her.”

One friend, who declined to be named, told The Sun: “We are aware that she had a stalker but didn’t know who he was. We heard she had taken out a restraining order against him because he was becoming quite a pest. 

“She’s a beautiful young woman, very popular, and he was obsessed with her and kept turning up at the stables. He was infatuated with her.”

The pal added: “But we don’t know if this man is the same man who killed her and then himself.

“Gracie was a very private person who didn’t disclose much about her personal life. She had a close knit circle of friends who she trusted.”

Friends said Gracie was the "life and soul of the party"

Friends said Gracie was the “life and soul of the party”

Cops said the two deaths are linked

Cops said the two deaths are linked

She said that Gracie’s mum Alison was “besides herself with grief,” adding: “The whole family are utterly distraught.”

Another equestrian pal said: “Gracie didn’t have a boyfriend, she only had time for her horse and was always riding and loved competing whenever she could. She was a talented rider.

“We heard a weird man was bothering her but don’t know if he was from the riding community. He was totally obsessed with her.”

Derbyshire Police declined to discuss the possibility Gracie had a stalker known to them.

A forces spokesperson said: “We cannot confirm or deny this. As this is a live investigation we are not able to comment.”

The name of the dead man has not yet been released but his family are aware.

Striking blonde six-foot Gracie, who described herself as “single” and “horse mad”, modelled part-time for a London agency to help pay for her horse and fund her passion for showjumping, cross country and dressage.

She lost her stepfather David Heaton, aged 65, just last month, and posted on FB: “RIP to my step dad Dave. I’ll love and miss you forever.”


Tributes on social media have flooded in for Gracie, who was described as the “life and soul of the party”.

Mourners have also laid flowers outside her family home where loved ones have gathered and are being supported by specialist officers. They are too upset to talk.

Pal Alicia Jordan posted on Facebook: “Oh Gracie Spinks I don’t even know what to say. “Heartbroken doesn’t even cut it.

“You really were the life of the party, we made so many memories us four and I couldn’t be more grateful to know you.

“Honestly sat here thinking of them is making me smile.

“This world is so, so cruel and it’s really not fair. Rest in peace Gracie you will be so missed. Thinking of your family and friends.”

Gracie’s heartbroken friends paid tribute to her tonight with one Georgie Simpson saying: “Cannot even comprehend what has happened today. Such a beautiful girl with a huge heart.

The investigation is ongoing

The investigation is ongoingCredit: Ashley Kirk

Tributes have been laid

Tributes have been laidCredit: Ashley Kirk

“Rest in peace Gracie Spinks. You will always be the life and soul of a party.”

Pal Emily, who runs Buntingfields Farm Equestrian Centre in Ashover, Derbyshire, said: “We are all absolutely devastated by her loss.
“She was a beautiful girl and was happened was horrific.”

Emily told how Gracie’s “bestest friend” Ben Robotham, who works at her stables and livery yard, had been left “absolutely heartbroken.”

She said: “Ben was here working yesterday when we got a call from her brother. He immediately went to her mum’s house. He is beyond devastated.

“He’s not her boyfriend just her bestest friend, they’ve been friends since they were kids, and he’s practically part of the family. They even spent lockdown together. They were joined at the hip.

“It has caused unbearable pain for so many people.

“We don’t know how she was killed or why it happened but we know there was a second person who died.”

A Derbyshire Police spokesperson said last night: “Officers investigating the death of a woman in Duckmanton can now confirm that a body of a man was also found in the town today and that we believe the two deaths are linked.

“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

“A woman was found injured in a field near to Staveley Road at around 8.40am. Paramedics attended and the woman, who was in her early 20s, sadly died at the scene.

“At 11am, the body of a man in his mid-30s was found in a field off Tom Lane, Duckmanton.

“We have traced and informed both families and specialist officers are supporting them at this time.

“We appreciate that what has happened in Duckmanton today will have shocked and upset many people in the community and officers will carry out extra patrols in the coming days.

“We would urge you to stop and speak to an officer if you wish to raise any concerns. “


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