Gracie Spinks: Chesterfield MP vows to ensure 'nothing is swept under carpet’ by police after Duckmanton tragedy

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has said he will do all he can to make sure police fully investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragedy in Duckmanton.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 9:29 am

Gracie Spinks, 23, tragically died after being found injured in a field off Staveley Road in Duckmanton on Friday.

Police believe she was killed by a man she knew, 35-year-old Michael Sellers, whose body was discovered just hours later in a field off nearby Tom Lane.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Perkins offered further condolences to Gracie’s loved ones and pledged to ensure “nothing is swept under the carpet” in the investigation into her death.

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Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins says he will do all he can to ensure police fully investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Gracie Spinks in Duckmanton
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins says he will do all he can to ensure police fully investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Gracie Spinks in Duckmanton

He said: “The outpouring of love and affection for Gracie speaks to her popularity and the affection and esteem in which she was held.

“It is unbearable that a family has lost a beloved daughter in this way, but that anguish will be coupled with a desire to ensure that the full facts about this case are known and that action is taken to prevent more families suffering this same agony.

“Her distraught family and friends deserve privacy now, but they also deserve for their voices to be heard should they wish to speak out on their experiences.

“This appalling incident has sent shockwaves through the community, amongst those who knew or worked with Gracie and also more widely.”

Derbyshire Constabulary has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following the tragedy, although the exact reason for this has not been disclosed.

“This is a standard practice in a case like this and it is important that enquiry is given time and resources to fully investigate this issue,” Mr Perkins said.

“The police are prevented by the IOPC from commenting publicly on some of these issues until the investigation has taken place but I can assure everyone that I will do all I can to make sure that the full facts about everything concerning this are investigated and nothing is swept under the carpet.”

Over the weekend, national media reported allegations that Gracie – who adored horses – had been ‘bothered’ by a man who was ‘obsessed’ with her.

The reports claimed she may have filed a restraining order after he ‘kept turning up at the stables where she went riding’, however Derbyshire Constabulary has refused to comment on such matters.

Mr Perkins said he is aware of these reports and is assured that all aspects of the case will be fully investigated.

“The issue of violence against women is a very prominent one just now, and this incident will further amplify the calls for more to be done to protect victims of violence and stalking and ensure that the law, and the forces of law and order, are more forcefully on the side of victims and protect them before offences are committed,” the Labour representative added.

“The police and other authorities must have all the resources and legal powers they need, so that we can say that as a society we have done all we can to prevent more families suffering the intolerable and heart-breaking anguish that Gracie’s family and friends are now suffering.

“The helplessness that we all feel when an incident like this occurs must strengthen our resolve to ensure that victims of stalking and violence are the law’s utmost priority.”

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