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Gavin Plum got an 'abduction kit' to kidnap TV host Holly Willoughby. He was foiled at the last minute.

British father of two, Gavin Plumb, had been obsessed with TV presenter Holly Willoughby for years. The security guard made no secret of it. 

Since 2022, Plumb had been posting images and sexualised commentary on a variety of platforms about Willoughby, who for a number of years was co-host of This Morning.

But for Plumb, fantasising about Willoughby wasn't enough. He wanted to make his inner thoughts a reality. He wanted to live out his "ultimate fantasy" — to kidnap, rape and murder her.

It all came unstuck when he unwittingly revealed his plans on a disturbing online forum, called Abduct Lovers, last year. 

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The 37-year-old had shared photos of Willoughby with the caption: "The one in the public eye that I want."

The message caught the attention of an undercover police officer, who sent him a private message to determine whether Plumb was genuine or a fantasist. 

"I have a sh*tload of information on her," replied Plumb, who went by the online name of Big Bear.

"I know when she does and doesn't have security and doesn't have CCTV at home. When she gets up in the morning," he wrote, leading the officer to believe Willoughby's life was at risk. 


It turns out, the police officer was right. 

During a week-long trial following Plumb's arrest for plotting to kidnap, rape and kill Willoughby, the lengths he went to in the hopes of carrying out his plan were revealed. 

Plumb had sought out nearby abandoned buildings to hold the presenter captive. He admitted to thinking about Willoughby up to six times per day and spent "99 per cent" of his time online. He even scouted her home address. 

Plumb had also devised an "abduction kit" that included cable ties, handcuffs, a ball gag and a blindfold, all in preparation for the attack. He had even ordered bottles of Chloroform from a homeopathy website. 

The would-be murderer's phone contained more than ten thousand images of Willoughby, sexualised messages about Willoughby and several deep fake pornographic images of her. 

Holly Willoughby quit her role on breakfast television following the arrest of Gavin Plumb. Image: ITV.


Search records revealed that in the lead up to his arrest, Plumb research "how to meet people who plan to kidnap celebs" and "what does it feel like to be raped". 

Jurors heard how Plumb had created voice notes, detailing his plan to hold Willoughby at his home, which he had rigged with CCTV cameras.

While in court Plumb tried to defend himself as a 'fantasist', his history proves otherwise. Plumb has already served time for violence against women. In 2006, he received a 12 month suspended sentence for attempting to force two stewardesses off a train, after threatening them with a fake gun. 

In 2008 he was sent to jail for threatening two teenage girls with a "box-cutter/Stanley knife-type instrument".

In the end, Plumb had spent over two years devising his plan to murder Willoughby. It was in October 2023 when officers came to his home and knocked down his door, worried Plumb was about to put his plan into action.

This week, Plumb was found guilty of plotting to kidnap, rape and murder Willoughby. He faces up to life in prison.


Willoughby waived her right to anonymity in order to speak out against Plumb, and violence against women generally. 

"As women we should not be made to feel unsafe going about our daily lives and in our own homes," she said in a statement. 

"I will forever be grateful to the undercover police officer who understood the imminent threat, and to the Metropolitan and Essex police forces for their swift response."

She also commended the bravery of his previous victims for speaking up at the time. 

"Without their bravery this conviction may not have been possible."

Following the arrest of Plumb, Willoughby quit the ITV breakfast television program This Morning after 14 years, saying it was a decision for "me and my family". 

Following the guilty verdict, Essex Police's senior investigating officer, Det Chief Insp Greg Wood, described Plumb as a "dangerous, predatory individual".

"He was not just simply obsessed with Holly Willoughby, he meticulously and carefully planned, over a number of years, to carry out a depraved and violent attack, in which he plotted to deprive her of her liberty and ultimately her life."

Plumb will be sentenced on July 12.

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

Feature Image: Getty/Essex Police.