Constance Marten and Gordon’s baby was warm, dry and fed, court told

  • Footage was shown in court of a couple on the run asking for a lift after their car caught fire

A court has heard claims that a newborn baby, whose remains were found in a plastic bag in a Brighton allotment, was kept well-nourished by her parents.

It was argued that Mark Gordon and Constance Marten, who both deny manslaughter, kept their daughter Victoria fed and warm - as they camped outdoors in freezing conditions.

Outlining the defence argument, John Femi-Ola KC, representing Gordon, said the baby was “well cared for” and “did not require medical assistance”.

After the baby – which was named Victoria by her parents – had died, petrol was purchased to cremate the child, but the couple decided against the idea, Mr Femi-Ola told the trial at the Old Bailey.

Marten, 36, “wanted to find out why her beloved baby died”, jurors were told.

She did not attend court again on Friday.

Jurors were shown pictures of a holiday home in Northumberland which was left filthy after the couple had stayed there in December 2022. Credit: Sussex Police

Weeks later, Mark Gordon can be heard asking for a lift, after their car went up in flames on the M61 motorway in Greater Manchester.

The jury was previously told how the couple travelled across England in cars and taxis, with the newborn baby tucked underneath Marten’s coat and later kept in a Lidl bag-for-life.

Mr Femi-Ola continued: “The defence’s case is that baby Victoria was born on December 24 2022 and that she died on 9 January 2023.

“Constance Marten said that after the baby died she did not know what to do.

“There was an attempt to preserve the body. She wanted to find out why her beloved baby died. Yes, beloved.”

Marten and Gordon kept the baby in a tent in the middle of a cold winter, depriving it of “warmth, shelter and food”, prosecutors allege.

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon. Credit: PA

Mr Femi-Ola disputed the claim and insisted the baby was “well cared for”.

“The baby was kept warm and dry, and was fed such that she was well nourished,” he told the jury.

“The baby did not require medical assistance … there is no evidence of any violence.

“What Constance Marten had to say to police about the death of baby Victoria is entirely consistent with the findings of pathologists.”

Marten and Gordon were “driven off grid,” he added.

The couple, of no fixed address, deny manslaughter by gross negligence, perverting the course of justice, concealing the birth of a child, child cruelty and causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.

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