Shropshire Star

Willoughby plot accused searched how to meet people who plan celebrity kidnaps

Gavin Plumb denies masterminding a plot to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby.

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Gavin Plumb court case

A security guard accused of masterminding a plot to kidnap, rape and murder TV presenter Holly Willoughby searched on Google for “how to meet people who plan to kidnap celebrities”, a court heard.

Gavin Plumb’s online searches and messages were read to a jury on Tuesday, in which he said he would make Ms Willoughby give “full permission” for him and another man to “do as we please to her”.

A jury panel was told he had discussed “the deceased BBC presenter Jill Dando” with another man online.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the 37-year-old had told another man on WhatsApp, who went by the name of Marc, he would track the star’s movements for a “simple place to strike but a home invasion is a better idea”.

Holly Willoughby in a purple dress
Holly Willoughby is the alleged victim of a kidnap, rape and murder plot (Lucy North/PA)

The jury heard the defendant said he had booked 10 days off work to “get longer to stake (Ms Willoughby) out”.

Plumb also allegedly searched online for “what does it feel like to be raped” and “where (sic) Jewish women raped in the war”.

The defendant is accused of attempting to live his “ultimate fantasy” and was described by the prosecution as someone who had an “obsession” with Ms Willoughby.

Asked by Marc, who is believed to be from Ireland, how long he had wanted to rape the TV presenter in December 2021, the defendant replied: “About three years, but people claim to want to and then back out.”

A few days later, a message from Plumb read: “Is it wrong I’m looking forward to it?”

Prosecutor Alison Morgan KC went through a document of communications before jurors with Detective Constable William Belsham of Essex Police in the witness box.

The officer agreed with the barrister that Plumb was using a mobile phone when he was arrested on October 4 last year and that officers kept it unlocked while they filmed some of the messages on it using body-worn cameras.

He said that Plumb did not initially provide a PIN for the device, but that this was later provided through his legal representatives and officers sent the phone for a full download.

In one set of WhatsApp messages which appeared to address how a kidnapping her would work, the defendant wrote: “That’s all I need to do got a rough idea her address so it’s find it track her movements for a simple place to strike but a home invasion is a better idea.”

A further message from Plumb, read to jurors, said: “There is some blind spots to hop the wall.”

A voice note played to the jury also made reference to how he would tie Ms Willoughby’s family up and take her.

Ms Morgan said Plumb and Marc also discussed Ms Dando in WhatsApp messages between them.

Journalist Ms Dando was shot dead on her doorstep in 1999.

In a further WhatsApp message from Plumb read to the court by the prosecutor, he said: “Just the thought of finally getting her (Ms Willoughby) is turning me on I’m actually looking forward to doing it.

“I’m at the point where idc (I don’t care) about the risks or consequences.”

Ms Morgan said in images exchanged between the pair between January 12 and January 19 2022, one image “displays the words ‘hurting women is fun’ across it.

The prosecutor continued: “Plumb and Marc also continue sexualised discussions about Ms Willoughby.

“Plumb states he has booked 10 days off work in February ‘to get longer to stake (Holly Willoughby) out’.”

Plumb denies soliciting murder, incitement to rape and incitement to kidnap, and the trial continues.

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