Read original 2007 report of kidnap plotter Gavin Plumb’s bungled first abduction bid | UK | News

TWISTED Holly Willoughby kidnap plotter Gavin Plumb tried to pass of his first attempts to abduct two women travelling on a train as a “prank because he was bored” when stopped by police.

Plumb, 37, who admitted two counts of attempted kidnap almost 20 years ago, was spared jail after the judge said his plot was at the “lower end of the scale”. Instead he was given the chance to take a course to prevent further offending.

On Thursday, Plumb, from Harlow, Essex, was convicted of soliciting the murder of TV presenter Holly Willoughby, encouraging or assisting the commission of her kidnap and encouraging or assisting the commission of her rape.

The jury was told of Plumb’s previous kidnap attempts but not the excuse he gave to police.

On August 14, 2006, Plumb, then aged 20, told a Ryanair stewardess he would shoot her and everyone on the train if she didn’t leave with him at the next station.

Other passengers intervened.

Two days later, he told another air stewardess he was a police officer and needed to speak to her off the train but a real police

officer was waiting for him on the platform.

After he was sentenced for the two counts of attempted kidnap in March 2007, a report in a local newspaper said Plumb initially

denied his actions then told the officer it was “just a silly prank because he was bored”.

His defence argued Plumb had low self-esteem and the plot, which involved a toy gun and some rope, was crude and would

have failed with the mildest resistance. 

Judge Patricia Lynch said the offences were at the lower end of the scale and he had already spent time on remand.

Last week, the second of the two women told a newspaper Plumb repulsed her and that she is still haunted by the incident.

Despite the conviction, he managed to secure work as a security guard in a Woolworths store in Harlow, where he tried to tie up two 16-year-old girls in a stockroom.

In June 2009, he admitted two counts of false imprisonment and was jailed for 32 months.

An ex-partner, Laura Roberts, 38, and mother of his child, has branded him a monster and said she endured years of domestic abuse. 

Ms Willoughby was said to be so scared that she could not leave her home, and left her presenting job on ITV’s This Morning show. 

Plumb will be sentenced on July 12.

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