Jury retires to consider verdicts in Holly Willoughby kidnap plot trial

The jury in the case of a security guard accused of masterminding a plot to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby has retired to consider its verdicts.

Gavin Plumb is accused of developing an “obsession” with the TV presenter over a number of years and encouraging others online to carry out his alleged plans with him.

The 37-year-old previously told jurors at Chelmsford Crown Court that he is “heartbroken, disgusted and shocked” that his “dark” conversations had come out, but insisted the alleged plot was “a fantasy” and not real.

Sketch of Gavin Plumb
Gavin Plumb previously told jurors his alleged plans were a ‘fantasy’ (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

The court heard that the defendant had told a man named Marc that “fantasy isn’t enough any more. I want the real thing”.

The defendant is alleged to have conspired online with a man he knew as David Nelson, but who turned out to be an undercover officer from the Owatonna Police Department in the US state of Minnesota.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan KC previously showed the jury a photograph of an alleged “abduction kit” which was assembled by Plumb and shared with Mr Nelson – including handcuffs and metal cable ties.

His plans allegedly involved attempting to “ambush” the presenter at her family home, and he is accused of discussing taking time off work in order to work on the plot.

The defendant’s messages are alleged to show how he planned to rape her at a different location before killing her and then putting her “into a lake at night”.

Plumb, of Harlow, Essex, denies soliciting murder, incitement to rape and incitement to kidnap.