Keen horse rider Gracie Spinks died from stab wound to the neck, inquest hears

Keen horse rider Gracie Spinks died as a result of a stab wound to the neck after witnesses saw a man running away from the scene where her body was found, an inquest was told.

The inquests into the death of the 23-year-old warehouse operative and her suspected killer, 35-year-old Sheffield man Michael Sellars, opened on Wednesday (Jun 30) at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court.

Derbyshire Police said the inquest heard how witnesses arrived at Blue Lodge Farm near to horse stables in Duckmanton just after 8am, where Ms Spinks was found unconscious.

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The inquest was told how the two witnesses reported seeing a man running away from the area.

Gracie Spinks

Ms Spinks, from Old Whittington, Chesterfield, was last seen alive by her mother at 7.30am on June 18, before being pronounced dead a little over an hour later.

Ambulance crews were called at 8.13am to reports Ms Spinks had been kicked by a horse.

Paramedics arrived at the scene at 8.17am and CPR was administered – before police were called at 8.40am after evidence was found the victim had been assaulted.

A post-mortem later found the former lifeguard had died from a stab wound to the neck.

Michael Sellers

Police said the inquest was told there was no evidence of any sexual assault.

The inquest into Sellers’s death was told his body was found by local residents on Blue Lodge Farm at 11am in an area surrounded by trees and bushes.

The suspected killer’s vehicle was found on Rectory Lane in Duckmanton shortly after officers attended the scene at around 9am.

Unemployed Sellars, from Sheffield, is believed to have died from self-inflicted actions, the hearing was told.

Police said the inquest heard full and more detailed findings will be ascertained in due course.

Unconfirmed reports previously suggested two large knives and an axe had been discovered near to where Ms Spinks was found dead.

Social media posts have said the weapons were found in a backpack on a farmer’s track six weeks ago.

Labour MP for Chesterfield, Toby Perkins, previously called for stalking victims to be the “law’s upmost priority” following Ms Spinks’s death.

A police spokesman said the force has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog following the incident.

A GoFundMe page set up for Ms Spinks’s family has raised over £12,500.

Chesterfield Coroner’s Court confirmed Assistant Coroner Matthew Kewley has asked for an update from the police regarding how their investigation is progressing by October 29.