Michael Sellers, 35, is understood to have carried out the attack after she refused to pursue a romantic relationship with him, a decision which he could not accept, the inquest heard.
Sellers was found dead 150 metres away from Ms Spinks and left a suicide note saying he “could not deal with all of her lies”. This, along with “various pieces of evidence”, indicate Sellers killed Ms Spinks and then took his own life, the jury was told.
The 23-year-old reported Sellers to her employer, an e-commerce firm called xbite, and the police months before her death. He was given “words of advice” by officers after she refused his advances, but they took no further action.
The inquest heard that officers still did not take action just a month before her death when a bag of weapons was found near where her horse was stabled, which included a note saying: “Do not lie.”
Resuming an inquest at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court on Monday, Matthew Kewley, assistant coroner for Derby and Derbyshire, said: “Gracie left home early to go and see her horse in the field.
“Just after 8am, a number of other people arrived at the field and Gracie was found lying on the ground and a man was seen running away.
“It was initially thought she may have been attacked by a horse. At about 8.13am the emergency services were called. Paramedics went to the field.
“The emergency services did the best they could to save Gracie. Sadly they were unable to do so and sadly she died at about 8.50am.
“While the emergency services were attending to Gracie, a knife was found near to where Gracie was discovered.
“Soon a possible link was made with Michael Sellers. At around 11am, Michael Sellers was also found and he was deceased.
“It appeared that Michael Sellers had taken his own life and a suicide note was recovered.”
Ms Spinks, an avid horse rider, was later deemed to have died from a stab wound to the neck, with paramedics who attended the scene describing “catastrophic” bleeding.
Ms Spinks first met Sellers when she got a job at a warehouse run by xbite in April 2020. Sellers, a supervisor, had been with the company since 2015 and had been the subject of complaints from “a number of female colleagues” about his behaviour towards them.
He “started to show an interest” in Ms Spinks and the pair met up outside work “on a number of occasions”, but she decided in December 2020 that she did not wish to continue meeting up or be in a relationship with him.
Mr Kewley said: “Michael Sellers could not accept Gracie Spinks’ decision and he did not respect her decision. Mr Sellers would continue to try and engage with Gracie and would persistently ask other staff for information about Gracie. It would appear that Mr Sellers had become obsessed with Gracie and could not accept her decision.”
On January 4 2021, Ms Spinks was travelling to Blue Lodge Farm, where her horse, Paddy, was stabled, when she saw Sellers parked in a lay-by.
She reported the incident to xbite, with Sellers suspended and later dismissed, but during the disciplinary process he said he “thought Gracie had lied about the nature of the relationship between them”, Mr Kewley said.
A month later Ms Spinks reported her concerns to Derbyshire Police, claiming she was worried about a repeat of the incident, but he was only given “words of advice” following an investigation.
Then, on 6 May that year, a member of the public found a rucksack containing knives, an axe and a hammer near Blue Lodge Farm. The rucksack contained a note which read “Do not lie.”
While the bag contained a Marks & Spencer receipt, which was traced back to one of Sellers’s relatives after his death, officers “were not concerned” and no further action was taken.
Following the deaths, the Independent Office for Police Conduct said five Derbyshire Police officers had cases to answer for misconduct.
Mr Kewley told the jurors they are tasked with finding how, on the balance of probabilities, Ms Spinks died, including whether police could or should have done more to investigate the incidents prior to her death.
Reading a statement outside the court on Monday, Sajad Chaudhury, representing Ms Spinks’s family, said: “Gracie was snatched away from us by a coward, who was unwilling to face the consequences of unthinking actions. We cannot hold him to account. We have had no closure.
“The inquest will enable the nation to hear the distressing facts as to how and in what circumstances Gracie was killed, the events leading up to Gracie’s death, and her interaction with the police in reporting her stalker.” The inquest continues.
Additional reporting by PA