Holly Willoughby Speaks Out After Plot Against Her Thwarted

Holly Willoughby has spoken out against the dangers women face after Gavin Plumb was convicted for planning to kidnap, rape, and murder her. Willoughby emphasized that women should not live in fear in their daily lives or in their homes.

Plumb, 37, harbored an obsession with Willoughby, amassing over 10,000 images of her on his phone, including deepfake pornography. His capture was facilitated by an undercover police officer in the US who alerted UK authorities after engaging with Plumb online.

Eric The Fish, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The court heard about Plumb’s disturbing history, including previous convictions for attempted kidnap and false imprisonment. In 2006, he attempted to force two female flight attendants off a train with a fake gun and threatening note, and in 2008, he tried to tie up two teenage girls in a Woolworths stock room.

Plumb meticulously planned Willoughby’s abduction, intending to take her from her home to his residence in Harlow, Essex, and murder her in an abandoned building. Despite his claims that the plot was merely fantasy and regrettable online chat, the jury found him guilty of soliciting murder, encouraging or assisting in kidnap, and encouraging or assisting in rape.

In her statement, Willoughby expressed gratitude to the undercover officer, the Metropolitan and Essex police forces, and others involved in the case. She also commended the bravery of Plumb’s previous victims, stating that their courage contributed to the conviction.

Plumb was visibly emotional as the verdict was read. He is set to be sentenced on July 12 and remains in custody. Nicola Rice of the Crown Prosecution Service highlighted the danger Plumb posed and praised the undercover officer who helped expose the seriousness of his plans.

Willoughby, who did not attend the trial, stepped down from her role on ITV’s This Morning shortly after Plumb’s arrest but returned to co-host Dancing on Ice the following year.

Plumb’s plot involved purchasing cable ties, a folding knife, and sourcing chloroform. He shared details of Willoughby’s home and security arrangements with an undercover officer posing as a like-minded individual, which led to his arrest.

The jury was informed of Plumb’s previous offenses, including an incident in 2006 involving a female cabin crew member and another in 2008 where he held two teenage girls at knife-point. These past actions, combined with his detailed plans for Willoughby, underscored the real threat he posed.

Plumb’s online activity included disturbing discussions about abduction and murder, which eventually led to his capture when the undercover officer alerted the FBI, who then involved the Metropolitan police.

Upon his arrest, Plumb admitted to police that Willoughby was a “fantasy” of his, further revealing the depth of his obsession.

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