Gracie’s Law: Chesterfield MP backs campaign in fight for tougher leglisation to protect stalking victims
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has shown his support for a campaign for tougher punishments for stalking victims set up in the name of Gracie Spinks following her tragic death.
The 23-year-old was found injured in a field near to Staveley Road, Duckmanton, on June 18, but sadly died at the scene.
Officers believe Gracie was killed by Michael Sellers whose body was later discovered nearby.
Friends say she had been stalked by the 35-year-old who had become ‘obssessed’ with her after the pair went on a date.
Brampton resident Jackie Barnett-Wheatcroft has since set up a petition calling for ‘Gracie’s Law’ to help protect people who report stalking to the police.
It has received backing from Labour MP Toby Perkins, who has agreed to meet with Mrs Barnett-Wheatcroft to discuss how he can help bring the proposals to fruition.
He said: “I whole-heartedly agree with the sentiments expressed in this petition and the desire to ensure that this appalling tragedy is a spur to action to better protect women who are victims of stalkers.
“I encourage people to add their name to the petition so that it can be presented on the floor of the house of commons and lead to a debate about what further actions can be taken.
“Turning sentiments like this into legislation that can stand up to legal scrutiny is not a simple task, but following the tragic murder of Gracie Spinks, and so many examples of other victims, it is clear that the current regime is not working or providing the protections needed.
"It is imperative that we give the police and courts the powers needed to help prevent further tragedies.
“I would also like to thank Jackie Barnett-Wheatcroft for creating this petition, and I have arranged to speak to her on Friday to discuss how I can help to push for new legislation to protect people from harassment and stalking.”
Mrs Barnett-Wheatcroft says she has already gathered over 800 signatures just from paper petitions which have been displayed in business premises across the area.
Gracie, who was from from Old Whittington, had previously contacted Derbyshire Constabulary to complain about Sellers.
The force has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), saying this was because it ‘had contact with Gracie earlier this year’.