Holly Willoughby kidnap and murder plot suspect had ‘millions’ of images of women on devices, court hears


Millions of images of women were discovered on the devices of a man accused of plotting to kidnap, rape and murder TV presenter Holly Willoughby, a court has heard.

Detective Constable William Belsham said the amount of material was so vast that officers were only able to examine around 10 per cent of the images collected by “obsessed” security guard Gavin Plumb.

Police carried out a filtering exercise before trawling through tens of thousands of pictures on his devices. In total, 10,322 were of Ms Willoughby, jurors were told.

The 37-year-old also revealed he had been “wanting to rape” the former This Morning presenter for three years, in hundreds of “sexualised” messages shown to the jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday.

The trial heard how Plumb discussed his plans to attack Ms Willoughby, 43, in detail with an online user called “Marc”.

The pair scoped access points to her house, shared screenshots of the property and said they would be “masked up” for an attack, in scores of messages shared on WhatsApp, Kik and Wickr.

One message from Plumb, read to jurors by prosecutor Alison Morgan KC, said: “There is some blind spots to hop the wall.”

Gavin Plumb denies masterminding a plot to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby (PA)
Gavin Plumb denies masterminding a plot to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby (PA)

In a seven-day period in January 2021, they swapped 57 images, including nine deep fake pornographic images, two images of other female celebrities and four images of women who were tied up, the court heard.

One image displayed the words “hurting women is fun”.

The pair also bragged about their previous attacks against women, with Marc claiming he had been jailed for stalking in Ireland.

It comes after jurors were previously told how Plumb had tried to abduct women from a train on two occasions in 2006 – once using a fake gun to force his victim to comply.

He later held two teenage girls at knifepoint in a shop stockroom in 2008.

In one message he said he had taken his victims to the “darkest most isolated part of the warehouse” in his 2008 attack.

He said he was tying one of their hands behind their backs and was “just about to finish her off” before they escaped and raised the alarm.

The pair exchanged images of Ms Willoughby, including deep fake pornography, as they discussed “staking out” her home, restraining her family and taking her to another location to rape her.

At various points they considered taking the mother of three to an “abandoned building” or to Plumb’s address in Harlow, Essex, the court heard.

“Definitely in the middle of nowhere so no one can hear her scream,” Marc replied in one exchange with Plumb shown to the jury.

In messages shared around the time of Ms Willoughby’s 41st birthday in January 2022, Plumb said: “It’s looking like the stake out starts early next month I’ll look at getting some time off today.”

He later added: “We’ll give her a birthday present she’ll never forget.”

Plumb also discussed attacks on other high-profile women with Marc – including the murder of TV personality Jill Dando, who was shot dead on her doorstep in 1999.

Prosecutors read messages from Gavin Plumb to Chelmsford Crown Court (Sourced)
Prosecutors read messages from Gavin Plumb to Chelmsford Crown Court (Sourced)

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.”

The court heard that Plumb had carried out internet searches including “what does it feel like to be raped” and “how to meet people who plan to kidnap celebrities”.

Opening the case on Monday, jurors were told it was his “ultimate fantasy” to target Ms Willoughby, 43, and he had purchased metal cable ties, a knife and chloroform – a liquid drug used to stupefy victims – in preparation for an attack.

The shopping centre security guard is accused of soliciting an undercover US officer he met in an online forum called Abduct Lovers to join a plot to commit murder, and incitement to kidnap and rape the former This Morning presenter.

Plumb, of Harlow, Essex, denies all charges.

The trial, scheduled to last two weeks, continues.