Court hears web searches by man accused of Holly Willoughby plot

The man accused of plotting to rape and murder Holly Willoughby had searched online about abducting famous people more than a decade before his arrest, a court heard yesterday(TUES).

Gavin Plumb, 37, allegedly looked up ‘how to meet people who plan to kidnap celebrities’ in September 2011.

Over the next few years he looked up a range of phrases including ‘what does it feel like to be raped’ and ‘where (sic) Jewish women raped in the war’, jurors were told.

The first known reference to Miss Willoughby in electronic devices seized from the security guard’s flat in Harlow, Essex, was in 2021 when he is said to have looked up fake images on a free porn website.

However, a police officer giving evidence said there were ‘millions’ of images of her and other celebrities and police had only managed to go through about ten per cent of them.

A court artist's drawing of Gavin Plumb (right) at Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex yesterday

A court artist’s drawing of Gavin Plumb (right) at Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex yesterday

Plumb also described tying up married mother-of-three Miss Willoughby’s family during the raid at her home, it is claimed.

He is accused of planning to enter the former This Morning presenter’s London property with other ‘obsessive’ fans, who would then move her to a ‘dungeon-style room’ elsewhere in the country where no one could hear her screams and ‘repeatedly rape’ her before murdering her and disposing of her body in a lake.

Plumb has previous convictions for attempting to kidnap two women on trains in separate incidents in 2006, Chelmsford Crown Court has heard.

He was jailed for false imprisonment following another incident in 2008 when he threatened two 16-year-old girls with a knife and tried to tie them up at the Woolworths branch near his home where they all worked.

The jury was taken through a sequence of events yesterday by prosecutor Alison Morgan KC and Essex Police officer Detective Constable William Belsham, who helped sift through the defendant’s electronic devices.

The document chronologically details the prosecution’s case against Plumb.

The father-of-one began chatting online with an individual called Marc in late 2021, with the man allegedly writing: ‘We do a home invastion, tie the whole family up and take her.

‘Could even… burn the house down or shoot the rest of her family.’

Plumb is said to have discussed Miss Willoughby’s security, saying: ‘I know she doesn’t have security unless she’s going to a major TV event.’

Holly Willoughby said in October last year that she was stepping down from This Morning

Holly Willoughby said in October last year that she was stepping down from This Morning 

The balding defendant allegedly also discussed restraining the entire family, saying to Marc: ‘We’ll wait for him [husband TV producer Dan Baldwin, 49) to leave then strike… or we’ll tie them up as well before taking her… pick out some of her outfits… we’ll be masked up.’

He added: ‘I’m actually looking forward to doing it. I’m at the point where I don’t care about the risks of consequences.’

The men discussed access routes to the Dancing on Ice presenter’s home, the jury heard, with Plumb referring to an ‘ambush point’.

Among the ‘numerous’ images of her that Plumb shared with Marc were deep fake porn photos, as well as graphic images showing women ‘tied up and/or gagged’.

In January 2022, the defendant allegedly talked about staking out Miss Willoughby’s home, adding: ‘We’ll give her a birthday present she’ll never forget.’

Marc said: ‘If I ever do get caught, I’ll be f****** admired by f****** people.’

The pair exchanged messages about other woman they wanted to abuse, it is claimed, and sent each other images of two female celebrities.

Marc allegedly commented: ‘Celebrities they think they’re full of themselves, they need to be f****** put into place.

Gavin Plumb is accused of hatching a plot to kidnap, rape and solicit the murder of the star

Gavin Plumb is accused of hatching a plot to kidnap, rape and solicit the murder of the star

In another exchange, Marc reportedly messaged: ‘Her (Miss Willoughby) in yellow looks hot.’

Plumb responded: ‘There isn’t anything she doesn’t look hot in that’s the point.’

The defendant also discussed cutting off his victim’s hair or pulling her by it.

And he allegedly wrote: ‘Consensual non consent – we’ll make her say we’re aloud (sic) to do whatever we want to her and record it.’

The defendant, who the Crown say was in contact with a number of people about the plot, was arrested in October last year after striking up a relationship with a man called David Nelson who turned out to be a US-based undercover police officer.

He is said to have sent him a video of a ‘restraint kit’ he had assembled which included handcuffs, a gag ball, chloroform and cable ties to prove he was serious about the plot.

Opening the case on Monday, Ms Morgan said: ‘The defendant’s online discussions reveal his real intention to carry out a plot to kidnap Holly Willoughby from her family home – to take her to a location where she would be raped repeatedly, before the defendant then intended to kill her.

‘It was not just the ramblings of a fantasist. The defendant had carefully planned what he would do and how he would do it.’

Miss Willoughby pulled out of an appearance on This Morning following the arrest in October last year and quit the show a few days later.

Plumb denies soliciting kidnap, rape and murder.The trial continues.