Holly Willoughby kidnap plot trial: Gavin Plumb says TV presenter was his ‘celebrity crush’ | UK News


A security guard accused of planning to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby has told a jury the television presenter was “my celebrity crush”.

An undercover US police officer on Thursday told Chelmsford Crown Court he believed 37-year-old Gavin Plumb posed an “imminent threat” to the former This Morning Host.

Plumb shared a video of his “abduction kit” with the officer, referred to as David Nelson, and said he would use chloroform to snatch Willoughby, 43, from her home to sexually assault her before slitting her throat, the jury has heard.

He alerted UK police who found two bottles of liquid, alongside items including handcuffs, rope, shackles and cable ties, at Plumb’s home in Harlow, Essex – but they were found not to contain the substance.

Gavin Plumb
Image:
Gavin Plumb

Plumb denies three charges of soliciting murder and encouraging kidnap and rape between 21 December 2021 and 5 October last year.

Giving evidence for the first time on Friday, he told the jury he spent his life online engaging in “wholesome chat” but also fantasising about having sex with celebrities, including Willoughby, who he had seen on daytime TV after he became housebound, having gained weight and reaching 35.5 stone.

“She was my celebrity crush,” said Plumb, who sat down in a chair to give his evidence, wearing a light grey sweater and dark trousers, after telling the judge he would not be able to stand.

Asked how many times he thought about her a day, Plumb said: “It would depend how many times I would chat about her. Sometimes it would be once, other times it would be four, five, six times.”

But the chats became “darker” from 2021, he said, being questioned by his barrister Sasha Wass KC.

He admitted he found the conversations “exciting” at the time but added: “Looking back at it now it’s massively regrettable because it’s not the sort of chat I would normally participate in.”

Plumb added: “It was kind of like gratification. It was something I knew was never going to happen.”

He told the jury he had bought most of the items in what has been described as an “abduction kit” following a four-month sexual relationship in which he was introduced to “BDSM and rough sex”.

“The whole kit is meant for someone who is consenting,” he said.

Items in Plumb's alleged 'kidnap kit'. Pic: CPS
Image:
Items in Plumb’s alleged ‘kidnap kit’. Pic: CPS

Pic: CPS
Image:
Pic: CPS

Plumb told jurors his weight started to fluctuate from the age of 13, which “really affected my mental health” because he could not play sport and was often put “in the friend zone” with girls.

Plumb said he has only had one serious relationship, which he described as “extremely toxic”, and lasted four-and-a-half years, during which there were “constant arguments” and he was “constantly put down”.

“I don’t want to be in a relationship anymore,” he said.

The court has heard he has two convictions for attempted kidnap from 2006, after trying to abduct two women off the Stansted Express train, later claiming they were members of cabin crew. He had rope and an imitation firearm when he was arrested.

Plumb said he was travelling between car parks where he worked handing out tickets and although he admitted he “had a stewardess fantasy back then” he said he did it “to get out of the relationship”.

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He was handed a suspended sentence and in 2008 said he used a box cutter to hold two “shouting and screaming and crying” 16-year-old girls in a warehouse where he worked, taping one of their hands behind her back.

Plumb said he committed the offences to “get away from the relationship”, which ended while he was in jail after he was sentenced to 32 months in prison, serving half, after admitting two charges of false imprisonment.

He told jurors once released he spent 99.9% of his life online, communicating with others about gaming, football and “normal fantasy chat” about having sex with various celebrities, including “briefly” Willoughby, but it was “completely different” to the “dark” material he later shared.

Willoughby, who is not attending the trial and is not a witness, announced in October last year that she was stepping down from This Morning after 14 years on the ITV show, but has since hosted Dancing On Ice 2024, and is due to present a Netflix show.



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