Holly Willoughby: Security guard Gavin Plumb accused of plot to kidnap presenter 'had millions of pictures of celebrities'

25 June 2024, 09:30 | Updated: 25 June 2024, 17:47

A security guard accused of plotting to kidnap, rape and murder television presenter Holly Willoughby was found with millions of pictures of celebrities, a court has heard.

Gavin Plumb, 37, discussed targeting other female stars in conversations online and in one chat mentioned "the deceased BBC presenter Jill Dando", a jury was told.

He was arrested on 4 October last year after he outlined his alleged plans to attack Willoughby, 43, to an undercover US police officer, the court heard.

Essex Police Detective Constable Will Belsham told Chelmsford Crown Court there was so much material on Gavin Plumb's mobile phone and other devices that officers had to operate a filtering process and could only look at about 10% of it.

He said the images of Willoughby, along with other female celebrities, were "in the millions".

DC Belsham also said investigators found more than 1,000 pages of internet history, including a Google search for: "How to meet people who plan to kidnap celebrities?"

Jurors were shown dozens of messages exchanged between Plumb and a man known as Marc, who police believe was based in Ireland.

Marc said he had been sent to prison for stalking and shared a newspaper article about a jailed stalker who fantasised about raping television personalities.

The court heard he and Plumb talked in graphic terms about attacking Willoughby and in one message Plumb said: "I've wanted this for years. I'm going to be living out my ultimate fantasy."

They also discussed "other female celebrities about being potential targets" as well as "the deceased BBC presenter Jill Dando", who was shot dead on her doorstep in 1999.

In a further WhatsApp message about Willoughby, Plumb said: "I'm actually looking forward to doing it. I'm at the point where I don't care about the risks or consequences."

Plumb, from Harlow in Essex, denies charges of soliciting murder, incitement to kidnap and incitement to rape between December 2021 and October last year.

The jury has previously heard he was "obsessed" with Willoughby and allegedly hatched "graphic" and "sexually motivated" plans to abduct, repeatedly rape and kill her.

Read more from Sky News:
Search dogs to help hunt for missing Jay Slater
Princess Anne's husband visits her in hospital
More police officers 'involved in betting scandal'

The court has heard he has previous convictions for trying to abduct two women on trains and for using a knife to falsely imprison two 16-year-old girls - including one whose hands he tied behind her back.

Plumb allegedly tried to recruit others online to help him carry out his plan to attack Willoughby at her home and assembled a "kidnap kit" including handcuffs, metal cable ties and rope.

His discussions included using chloroform to stupefy her and her husband, the television producer Dan Baldwin, before tying them up, abducting her and slitting her throat, the court has heard.

Willoughby, who is not attending the trial, has waived her automatic right to anonymity, to which all alleged victims of sexual offences or related charges are entitled.

She 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 also due to present a Netflix show.

The trial continues on Wednesday.