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Security guard insists online chats about Holly Willoughby were fantasy

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Security guard insists online chats about Holly Willoughby were fantasy

A security guard accused of hatching a plan to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby has said he is “heartbroken, disgusted and shocked” that his online chats about the alleged plot have come out.

Gavin Plumb told Chelmsford Crown Court his “dark” discussions were “massively regrettable”, but insisted the alleged plans were “a fantasy” and not real.

The defendant also said he bought bottles of chloroform to clean a “large stain next to my fridge” and purchased a BDSM kit, including a set of handcuffs, in 2014 “to rekindle my relationship with my ex-partner”.

He apologised for the “graphic and violent” contents of some of the chats, and said some of the words he had used were a way to “get my gratification, move on”.

The 37-year-old said he got a “rush of excitement” about the thought of keeping Ms Willoughby in a “dungeon”, but again insisted: “I knew it was online chat.”

He conceded that his internet conversations were “coming across” like a genuine plot, but told jurors: “There’s no plan.”

Plumb told the jury he did not ask a man who turned out to be an undercover officer for “help” in carrying out the alleged plot.

Giving evidence on Friday, the defendant also said his WhatsApp communications with a man who went by the name of Marc were “not the kind of chat I would normally participate in”.

He said in his discussions with Marc, when he said he needed to “follow her movements” and “set everything up”, he was talking about a “fantasy of setting up an abduction”.

Plumb agreed with his barrister Sasha Wass KC that his chats about Ms Willoughby “degraded her”.

Addressing the defendant in the witness box, Ms Wass asked: “What effect did your interactions with Marc have?”

Plumb replied: “Looking back at it now, it’s something that is massively regrettable because it’s not the kind of chat I would normally participate in.”

After being asked by prosecutor Alison Morgan KC to put his defence aside that the content of his messages were a “fantasy” and say whether his discussions read like a genuine plan, Plumb said: “As they read, then yes – but it was never going to go any further than online.”

Ms Morgan continued: “As these messages read, you are discussing a plan in which Holly Willoughby will be kidnapped, raped repeatedly and then killed.”

Plumb replied: “There’s no plan.”

He added: “The chat is coming across that way, but there’s no plan.”

The defendant told the court he was “sorry for the contents of the chat, absolutely” as he was asked by Ms Morgan if he would make an apology for his words.

He said: “I completely regret this chat and I’m disgusted this has all come out.”

Questioned on whether he would make an apology, Plumb continued: “I’m sorry for the contents of chat, absolutely.”

The defendant added: “I’m absolutely heartbroken, disgusted and shocked that it has come out.”

Under questioning from Ms Wass, Plumb said he sometimes thought about his “celebrity crush” Ms Willoughby “four, five, six times” a day.

The defence barrister probed the defendant over whether he “ever ask(ed) for help from David Nelson”, the undercover officer, and the defendant replied: “No.”

He said he “never asked either him (the undercover officer) or Marc to travel”.

Ms Wass asked: “Did you imagine either of them were going to travel?”

Plumb replied: “No.”

The defence barrister asked the defendant how he felt about references in online chat to having Ms Willoughby in a “dungeon”.

He said there would be a “rush of excitement”, adding: “I knew it was online chat.

“It was chat online, get my gratification, move on.”

Ms Wass asked if Plumb “visited any premises with a view to keeping a hostage”.

The defendant replied: “No.”

After being taken to a part of his online chat with the undercover officer where he said he would jump over a wall outside Ms Willoughby’s house following a kidnap attempt, Plumb told jurors his “between 25-30 stone” weight meant he had “more chance of tripping over the step walking down”.

Ms Wass also asked Plumb about two bottles of chloroform he had bought, as she said: “Did you intend to use it to incapacitate anyone?”

The defendant replied: “No.”

The barrister continued: “Your ‘plan’ … was incapacitating Ms Willoughby and getting her out of the house. How was that going to work?”

Plumb said: “It wouldn’t have done.”

He told the court he spent “99.9%” of his time online after being released from prison in 2010 for offences of false imprisonment.

Plumb also said that at one point, his weight was “ballooning to dangerous levels”, adding that he reached “35 stone and I was housebound”.

He told jurors: “I physically couldn’t move without being in pain or being breathless.”

Asked by Ms Wass if he ever left the house, Plumb said: “Only to go to the doctor’s or to hospital appointments.”

The defendant continued: “It was making me feel so low to the point I felt I didn’t want to speak to anybody because I was a burden because of my weight.

“I had to have members of my family come over to help me with my housework.”

He agreed that in 2018 he had an operation.

Plumb admitted to the jury he had purchased a “kit” from Amazon that included a whip, lead, shackles, blindfold and clamps with black rope.

Asked by Ms Wass if, by the time of his arrest in 2023, “any of this equipment (had) been used on anybody other than yourself”, Plumb replied: “No.”

The barrister asked Plumb: “Had you been involved in any sexual relationships using any of this?”

The defendant replied: “No.”

Plumb is accused of attempting to live his “ultimate fantasy” and has been described by the prosecution as someone who had an “obsession” with Ms Willoughby.

The defendant, of Harlow, Essex, denies soliciting murder, incitement to rape and incitement to kidnap.

The trial continues.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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