'Obsessed' security guard spent almost two years 'plotting to kidnap, rape and murder' Holly Willoughby

24 June 2024, 12:37

A shopping centre security guard from Essex, spent almost two years plotting to kidnap and kill Holly Willoughby.
A shopping centre security guard from Essex, spent almost two years plotting to kidnap and kill Holly Willoughby. Picture: Alamy

By Fraser Knight

A shopping centre security guard from Essex spent almost two years plotting to kidnap and kill Holly Willoughby, a court has heard.

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Gavin Plumb, 37, appeared in the dock at Chelmsford Crown Court wearing a light grey tracksuit top and dark grey bottoms as his trial got underway.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan KC told the court he’d outlined his plans while messaging a man online named in court as ‘David Nelson’, who he was hoping would help him abduct the TV star.

She says Mr Plumb didn’t know he was an undercover US police officer.

“The defendant’s plans as to what he would do to Holly Willoughby were graphic and were obviously sexually motivated,” she said.

“They were real to him and were based on an obsession with Ms Willoughby that had developed over a number of years.

“The Prosecution’s case is that this defendant’s online discussions reveal his real intention to carry out a plot to kidnap Holly Willoughby from her family home; to take her to a location where she would be raped repeatedly before the defendant then intended to kill her.

“It was not just the ramblings of a fantasist. The defendant had carefully planned what he would do and how he would do it, purchasing items that would assist him in carrying out the attack.”

Mr Plumb denies the charges.

Holly Willoughby has agreed to be named as the alleged victim of the plot to rape her, waiving her legal right to anonymity, court documents show.

The 43-year-old announced in October last year that she was stepping down from ITV’s This Morning after 14 years on the show, saying: "I have to make this decision for me and my family."

Addressing the jury, the judge said it was “likely most, if not all of you” will have heard of Holly Willoughby before, but he warned them to put anything they know about her “firmly out of your mind”.

The trial is due to last two weeks.

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