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Holly Willoughby kidnap accused was on ‘Abduct Lovers’ group, court hears | UK News

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An undercover agent has told a court how he exchanged messages with a man accused of plotting to murder Holly Willoughby on a group called Abduct Lovers and believed he was an “imminent threat”.

The US police officer began giving evidence on Thursday in the trial of 37-year-old Essex man Gavin Plumb.

Using the alias David Nelson and appearing anonymously via video link, he said his job was to infiltrate social media to look for suspected kidnapping and human trafficking.

He told Chelmsford Crown Court that Abduct Lovers was a group discussing kidnap, rape, and murder.

Nelson said Plumb had posted four images of Willoughby with the quote “the one in the public eye I want” and claimed to know where she lived, when she left home, and the times she didn’t have security.

“I felt there was an imminent threat from this individual,” Nelson said.

The officer, from Minnesota, told the court he sent Plumb a private message to see if he was serious or a fantasist.

Plumb is said to have replied with information including a Google map showing his route to Willoughby’s home and details of her car.

He also allegedly shared video of his kidnap kit and bottles of chloroform – a liquid that can make someone unconscious.

Plumb is said to have sent this selfie titled 'my ugly mug' to the officer
Plumb is said to have sent this selfie titled ‘my ugly mug’ to the officer

“Earlier in the conversation he had indicated he had chloroform,” Nelson told the court.

“It was not present in that photo of his abduction kit – I asked where the chloroform was and he sent a picture.

“At that point in the conversation it was quite alarming,” he added.

The witness told the court he asked Plumb “several times” if the plot was fantasy “and he replied it was not”.

“I believed this to be a credible plan and that this would have been carried out with or without my services,” said the undercover officer.

‘State of his dimensions’

In an effort to win Plumb’s trust, the officer said he sent him flight details and fake ID to show willingness to be an accomplice in the alleged plot.

He told jurors he asked for a picture of the Essex man to establish his identity, with Plumb sending a selfie with the caption “my ugly mug”.

Defence barrister Sasha Wass KC asked if Plumb’s obesity and the “state of his dimensions” – as well as his inability to drive – affected the credibility of the plan to break into Willoughby’s home before “jumping over a wall” to escape.

“No, it did not,” replied Nelson.

Nelson said he also asked about where he lived and worked – all the while feeding it back to US authorities.

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He said that on 4 October 2023, there was a meeting with FBI and Metropolitan Police representatives where he shared his intelligence.

The court also heard Plumb had told police during his arrest: “I’m not gonna lie, she (Willoughby) is a fantasy of mine”.

He then answered no comment in two police interviews.

Plumb, from Harlow, denies soliciting murder, incitement to rape, and incitement to kidnap.

The trial continues.

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