Willoughby rape plot not just fantasy, trial hears

By Shivani Chaudhari & PA MediaBBC News, Essex

PA Images Holly WilloughbyPA Images

Holly Willoughby will not be giving live evidence at the trial

A security guard accused of a plot to kidnap, rape and murder TV personality Holly Willoughby went to “great lengths to suggest to other people it was not a fantasy”, a trial heard.

Alison Morgan KC said in her prosecution closing speech that defendant Gavin Plumb also swore and said “it’s really happening” when an undercover police officer sent him an image of a flight booking.

“These, members of the jury, were the defendant’s words when he realised that another person, who he believed to be called David Nelson, was genuinely prepared to join him in his plan to attack Holly Willoughby,” Ms Morgan told Chelmsford Crown Court.

Mr Plumb, 37, of Harlow in Essex, denies soliciting murder, incitement to rape and incitement to kidnap.

Gavin Plumb is smiling at the camera and wearing a black top

Gavin Plumb has previously said his chat room conversations were “dark” but he did not intend to act on them

Ms Morgan said: “When he believed that ‘David Nelson’ had just booked a flight to travel from the US… to join in that attack – [he said] ‘it’s really happening’.

“He didn’t say ‘don’t do that, I was just kidding’.

“He didn’t say ‘this is just fantasy, you haven’t bought a flight have you?’

“He didn’t say ‘I don’t really trust you because the name on your flight booking doesn’t match with your username’.”

Ms Morgan said that Mr Plumb believed “after years of planning he had finally found someone who didn’t appear to have cold feet”.

Last week, the jury was shown police bodycam footage of Gavin Plumb’s arrest

She described the accused as a man who has “done this [the plot] for real”.

“He has terrified, subdued, threatened and detained real women against their will,” the barrister told jurors.

“He has carried weapons for that purpose. He has carried ropes for that purpose.

“Real people exist in the world now who were threatened and touched by this man and he was looking… to learn how to avoid those mistakes again; looking to make sure that he didn’t fall into the errors that led to women being able to get away from him.”

Chloroform ‘not Vanish’

The barrister said the defendant was “intent on making this happen”.

Ms Morgan reminded jurors that Gavin Plumb had bought chloroform, which she described as “synonymous with rendering people unconscious”.

The defendant had previously claimed in evidence that he had bought the substance to clean a stain on his floor.

“Not Vanish, not any other product on the market,” Ms Morgan said.

She said that Mr Plumb had looked up the “medical properties of chloroform” and “how long does chloroform knock you out for?”.

“Not ‘how good is chloroform at getting a terrible stain off my carpet?’,” she said.


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