Holly Willoughby praises ‘bravery’ of previous victims speaking out

Holly Willoughby has praised the “bravery” of the previous victims of security guard Gavin Plumb for speaking out after he was found guilty of “graphic” plans to kidnap, rape and murder the TV presenter.

The former This Morning host, 43, thanked the undercover police officer that “understood the imminent threat” to her life and helped foil his plot.

Plumb had been accused of attempting to live his “ultimate fantasy” and was described by the prosecution as someone who had an “obsession” with the star.

Gavin Plumb court case
Security guard Gavin Plumb, who has been found guilty of masterminding a plot to kidnap, rape and murder TV presenter Holly Willoughby (Essex Police/PA)

A jury at Chelmsford Crown Court unanimously convicted him of soliciting murder and inciting rape and kidnap.

Following the guilty verdict, Willoughby said in a statement: “As women we should not be made to feel unsafe going about our daily lives and in our own homes.

“I will forever be grateful to the undercover police officer who understood the imminent threat, and to the Metropolitan and Essex police forces for their swift response.

“Thank you to the Crown Prosecution Service, the Rt Hon Mr Justice Murray, Alison Morgan KC, the members of the jury and all involved in this case for ensuring that justice was done and that the defendant will not be able to harm any more women.

“I would also like to commend the bravery of his previous victims for speaking up at the time.

“Without their bravery this conviction may not have been possible.”

Gavin Plumb court case
Holly Willoughby said women should not be made to feel unsafe going about their daily lives or in their own homes (Lucy North/PA)

During the trial, the jury were told of Plumb’s two previous convictions for attempted kidnap in 2006 and another two offences of false imprisonment committed in 2008.

He said he had a “stewardess fantasy” at the time he tried to force two air hostesses to get off a train in the space of three days in August 2006.

Plumb was handed a term of imprisonment of 12 months, suspended for two years, with supervision and activity requirements for his two kidnap attempts, and was jailed for 32 months for the false imprisonment offences.

Willoughby is best know for co-hosting This Morning alongside Phillip Schofield for many years before the 62-year-old presenter departed ITV last year over an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger male colleague.

In October, Willoughby announced she was stepping down from presenting the show after 14 years “for me and my family”, a week after Plumb was remanded in custody.