Security guard says Holly Willoughby kidnap plot would put him on ‘death row’

A security guard accused of masterminding a plot to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby said the things he would do to her would put him “death row”, a court has heard.

Jurors were told Gavin Plumb communicated with a number of people online about Ms Willoughby, with one man, who turned out to be an undercover police officer, being told of his plans to “put her into a lake at night” when he had finished raping her.

The 37-year-old, told the officer from the Owatonna Police Department in the US state of Minnesota: “When we get board (sic) of her, then we get rid.”

Items including handcuffs, cable ties and a whip on a white sheet
An image shown to the jury of items purchased by the defendant (Crown Prosecution Service/PA)

As part of his online chats, the defendant sent a potential accomplice a video of restraint “kit” items laid out on a bed, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

The jury was played Plumb’s footage of the items, which included ankle shackles, a ball gag, rope, metal cable ties and handcuffs.

The court was told that in a subsequent voice note in May last year, the 37-year-old said: “They’re asking me if I’m gonna tie them up at all. Lol. No, no of course not, no, no, no, no I’m not gonna do that at all. Much.”

Jurors were previously shown an image of items purchased by the defendant, which included items from what prosecutors described as his “kit” of materials.

In a different chat with a man who gave his name as Alfie Noakes, which was found by officers after he was arrested, the pair exchanged images of Ms Willoughby.

After photos were exchanged, Plumb said the things he would do to her “would put me (sic) death row”.

Following a response from Mr Noakes which said “I bet”, the defendant went on to say he wanted to get a “crew of 3 or 4 guys to abduct her”.

The court also heard Plumb checked out an abandoned stud farm with cells to “keep” TV presenter Holly Willoughby after kidnapping her, a court has heard.

Holly Willoughby smiling as fans take photos
Holly Willoughby was the focus of Gavin Plumb’s plot (Lucy North/PA)

He allegedly told another man she would be put in a van after a “home invasion” before being taken to “her new home and her new way of living”.

His online searches were also read out to the jury, including “killers from Harlow in Essex”, “rape in the United Kingdom” and “violence against women – rape”.

The court also heard Plumb had discussed booking a tour to the ITV studios during Ms Willoughby’s time as a host of This Morning and whether it would involve meeting presenters.

Jurors were told he also sent a voice note which said he was “gonna get some chloroform” and in a separate voice note of March last year, added: “I might even buy some fresh hankies as well so they are fresh for her.”

In a WhatsApp exchange read to the court by prosecutor Alison Morgan KC, the defendant said: “We’ve got somewhere in the country to keep her, Ryan (another man he had been speaking with) is interested again by the looks of it.”

The man he was speaking with, who went by the name of Marc, replied: “Cool where is the location.”

Plumb said it was “a stud farm that’s abandoned”, adding: “It’s got cells.”

He said in a further message: “It could finally be happening.”

Revolving door to a glass-fronted building with a sign for ITV
Gavin Plumb discussed booking a tour of ITV studios in London in an attempt to get closer to Ms Willoughby (Ian West/PA)

The defendant told Marc he was “looking more towards a home invasion” before he would “get control of her” and “pick up some outfits”.

He said Ms Willoughby would be taken to a “waiting van” and be taken to “her new home and her new way of living”.

In a further exchange with Marc, the defendant wrote: “Just looking on the maps images of her house. It’s looking like that there isn’t any cameras. Also I’ve found a open gate in the pics. Might need to check it out.”

He added: “The alley way route the wall we’ll need to jump has spikes on it.”

In a separate message, the defendant posted a photograph of Ms Willoughby and wrote: “She’s wearing things like this for a reason which is to tease us guys – she’s getting punishment for all the teasing.”

Plumb also told Marc in a voice note that “my place might be better” to hold Ms Willoughby “because there’s cameras everywhere”.

He said: “The only thing we’re missing is somewhere to hold her.”

In a further voice note, Plumb said: “I still think my place might be better cos there’s cameras everywhere.

“It’s just a temporary thing, hold her here you’ve got bed, you’ve got warmth etc.”

Discussing Ms Willoughby, who has presented Dancing On Ice, with Marc, the defendant said in a separate voice note: “We’re using your idea for the wait until DOI is done, once DOI’s done we’re literally getting everything in place.”

Speaking about booking a tour of the ITV studios, Plumb wrote: “I’m not sure if I’m booking an ITV studio tour or just to the area.”

Marc replied: “Go to the area and follow her home.”

The defendant went on: “She will be driving, I will be on foot though.”

He later added, in a message in 2022: “I’m calling the studio tours tomorrow to see if they are still available and if you meet presenters.”

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.

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

The trial continues.