Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Holly Willoughby in a black dress© Stuart C. Wilson

Holly Willoughby trial: Security guard found guilty of kidnap plot

Holly left This Morning after the foiling of the plot

Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
July 4, 2024
Share this:

A jury has found Gavin Plumb guilty of planning to carry out a kidnap and murder plot against former This Morning star Holly Willoughby.

The jury reached their verdict in 12 hours and 47 minutes and found Gavin guilty of soliciting murder, incitement to rape and incitement. The security guard had already purchased a "kidnap kit" with shackles and chloroform and had previously abducted two women, although they managed to escape.

WATCH: This Morning pay tribute to Holly Willoughby following departure

Following the trial, it was revealed that Gavin had attempted to kidnap two air stewardesses using an imitation firearm in 2006, for which he received a suspended sentence. Following its conclusion, he kidnapped two 16-year-old girls with a Stanley knife, but as he tied them up they managed to escape and raise the alarm.

The security guard was captured after he divulged to an undercover police officer based in the United States his plans to kidnap, rape and murder the mum-of-three. The jury was shown 1,000 messages exchanged between Gavin and the undercover officer in which he described the star as his "ultimate fantasy".

Gavin Plumb in a black shirt© Shutterstock
Gavin was found guilty of planning to kidnap and murder Holly Willoughby

One message read: "Getting her has been my ultimate fantasy for way too long. I'm now at the point that fantasy isn’t enough anymore. I want the real thing."

In messages exchanged between 2021 and 2023, Gavin shared images of Holly's home, spoke of "ambush points" to capture her and shared deepfake pornographic images of the presenter.

Gavin Plumb in a Batman t-shirt© Shutterstock
Gavin had previously abducted other women

Alison Morgan KC told the jury: "The defendant had shared a video with the officer showing real items in his possession, which he described as his 'kit' of materials, laid out on a bed; to include hand and ankle shackles, ball gag, rope, metal cable ties and handcuffs. These items would later be found at the defendant's home address."

Giving video evidence from the United States, the undercover officer shared his belief that Holly was in "immediate danger" from Gavin.

Holly Willoughby in a one-shouldered floral dress with her hair up© Yui Mok - PA Images
Holly was believed to be in "immediate danger"

During the trial, Gavin claimed his previous attacks on women were a "cry for help" as he attempted to leave a "toxic relationship" and that the chloroform had been purchased in order to clean a stain on his carpet.

He admitted to having "dark" conversations about Holly, but insisted that he never intended to carry out the plot. "It was talk – nothing more," he told the court.

Holly Willoughby in a silver dress© Karwai Tang
Gavin planned to kidnap, rape and murder the star

Speaking after the verdicts, DCI Greg Wood said: "Gavin Plumb is a dangerous, predatory individual who was intent on causing the most serious harm to his victim. 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.

"His claims in court that he was a 'fantasist' are simply not true and were evidenced by the extent with which he plotted with others to carry out his wicked plan."

Holly Willoughby and her three children© Instagram
The presenter is a mum-of-three

Gavin is due to be sentenced on 12 July.

The security guard was arrested on 4 October 2023, with Holly going into protective custody the following day and receiving an indefinite period of leave from This Morning.

Holly Willoughby in blue floral dress© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Holly left This Morning following the plot

Less than a week later, Holly resigned from This Morning, saying in a statement: "I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning.

"To everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years, thank you so so much. This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we've done together."

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Celebrity News

See more