Security guard who plotted to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby previously held other women against their will

24 June 2024, 13:41 | Updated: 24 June 2024, 13:53

Security guard who plotted to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby previously held other women against their will
Security guard who plotted to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby previously held other women against their will. Picture: Alamy

By Fraser Knight

A security guard accused of planning to kidnap and kill Holly Willoughby previously used a knife and imitation firearm to hold other women against their will, a court has heard.

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Gavin Plumb, 37, is on trial for plotting to “ambush” the TV star at her house and use cable ties to kidnap, rape and murder her.

He’s denied the charges against him.

During the trial’s opening at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex, a jury heard that Plumb had spent almost two years planning the attack.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan KC said: “The defendant was someone who was obsessed with Holly Willoughby. By the time of these allegations, he had accumulated many images – hundreds of images - of Ms Willoughby that he had accessed online.

“He knew a great deal about her from information available on social media and the internet and he followed her activities and movements.

“His obsessive behaviour extended to other celebrities and to women who lived in his local area.

During the trial’s opening at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex, a jury heard that Plumb had spent almost two years planning the attack.
During the trial’s opening at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex, a jury heard that Plumb had spent almost two years planning the attack. Picture: Alamy

“He commented on the appearance of women in a degrading manner, making graphic suggestions to others about what he wanted to do to the women in sexual terms.

“And beyond that online world of graphic suggestions, the defendant was also someone who had real life experience of violence towards women.”

The court heard that in 2006, Mr Plumb committed two offences of attempted kidnap against women on a train.

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

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On August 14 2006, the court heard:  "He sat opposite [a woman] and stared at her, before showing her a note which said: 'I have got a gun. All you have to do is keep quiet. Do what I say. So just stand up and get off at the next stop with me.

“Don't cry or make a sound. Don't stop me from touching you because I won't hurt you. If you do all of this, no-one will get hurt but if you don't I am going to shoot you and myself and everyone else'.

"The victim was terrified and began to cry.

"Others on the train came over, at which point the defendant tore up the note and ran off at the next stop."

Ms Morgan said: “When you consider the discussions about Holly Willoughby and what this defendant planned to do to her, you will do so in the context of those earlier offences.
Ms Morgan said: “When you consider the discussions about Holly Willoughby and what this defendant planned to do to her, you will do so in the context of those earlier offences. Picture: Alamy

The jury was told he made a similar attempt against another woman two days later.

Alison Morgan KC also told the court that in 2008, Gavin Plumb held two 16-year-old girls at the back of a shop he worked in, in Harlow, against their will, using rope and tape to tie one of the girls’ hands together before.

Ms Morgan said: “When you consider the discussions about Holly Willoughby and what this defendant planned to do to her, you will do so in the context of those earlier offences.

“They tell you that this defendant knew what it would take to terrify and overpower a woman. He was also someone who had chosen to do this for real, not just as a fantasy.”

“In this trial, the defendant is likely to suggest that this is all just fantasy but when you look at these messages, you’ll consider the way in which he describes her and what he would do to her.

“You’ll consider whether this the talk of a fantasist or if it’s someone who expresses himself with such a dark depravity that it is clear that he meant what he said?”

Holly Willoughby agreed to be named as the alleged victim of a plot to rape her, waiving her legal right to anonymity, to allow the court proceedings to be reported fully.

The trial is due to last two weeks.

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