Man accused of Holly Willoughby plot searched ‘what does it feel like to be raped’, court hears

Gavin Plumb, right, at Chelmsford Crown Court
Gavin Plumb, right, at Chelmsford Crown Court - ELIZABETH COOK /PA

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

Officers examining the phone and devices of Gavin Plumb, 37, of Harlow, Essex found “vast” images of women, 10,322  of which were of the former This Morning presenter.

So vast was the material that officers were only able to analyse around 10 per cent, amounting to “more than tens of thousands of images”, Det Con William Belsham, of Essex Police, told jurors.

Chelmsford Crown Court was also told how Plumb, a shopping centre security guard, had made web searches including “how to meet people who plan to kidnap celebs” and “what does it feel like to be raped” in 2021.

Plumb sat hunched over in the dock staring at the floor as the court heard how he said he would track Holly Willoughby’s movements and break into her home.

In “sexualised” messages on WhatsApp, Wickr and Kik between Plumb and a man called Marc, the defendant said: “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.”

Exchanged messages

The pair exchanged 57 images of Ms Willoughby across 46 WhatsApp messages between Jan 12 and Jan 19 2022, prosecutor Alison Morgan KC told the court.

Nine of these images were “deepfake pornography”, she said.

“Other images include two other female celebrities and four images of unknown women tied up,” Ms Morgan said.

“One image displays the words ‘hurting women is fun’ across it. 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’.”

In other messages read to the court from 2022, Plumb said he would give Ms Willoughby a “birthday present she will never forget” and explained how he found the “possibility of a few abandoned places in the UK that’s out of London”.

Asked by Marc, believed to be from Dublin, 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.”

In a further 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.”

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

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 Fulham, south-west London, in 1999.

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