Aristocrat Constance Marten and boyfriend Mark Gordon who went on the run with their baby before the child was found dead in a plastic bag appear in court to deny manslaughter …
- The trial is set to last four to six weeks at the Old Bailey
Published: 20:14, 15 January 2024 | Updated: 21:24, 15 January 2024
An aristocrat and her boyfriend, who went on the run with their baby, before the child was found dead in a plastic bag appear in court today.
Last January the couple sparked a huge police hunt after they went on the run with their baby, Victoria, who was later found dead in a plastic bag in a shed under a heap of nappies on a Brighton allotment.
Constance Marten, pictured, appeared in court today accused of the manslaughter of Victoria, concealment of the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice
Marten and Gordon appeared at the Old Bailey today charged with the manslaughter of their baby, Victoria
She worked as a freelance photographer before starting her drama course, and dropped out when she met Gordon.
During the manhunt last year hundreds of officers from the Metropolitan Police and Sussex Police, as well as search and rescue volunteers, scoured 90 square miles of land in the search for the baby.
The couple were caught on CCTV wearing heavy outdoor clothing, carrying bags down the street, before they were arrested.
They were reported missing on January 5, after their car caught fire on the M61 near Bolton.
Over the following days, there were sightings of them in a number of places, including Liverpool, Essex, south London and East Sussex.
The couple had been sleeping rough in a blue tent and had avoided being traced by the police by only making payments in cash and booking hotels using false names.
They deny the manslaughter of Victoria by gross negligence, concealment of the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice
They also deny child cruelty and causing or allowing the death of a child between 4 January and 27 February.
The trial is set to last four to six weeks.
Marten appeared wearing a black cardigan, white blouse with a purple scarf and holding a stack of notes.
Judge Mark Lucraft, KC, the Recorder of London, said 14 jurors, with two reserves to listen to the opening in case issues arise with any other juror, would be selected for the trial.
Prosecutor Tom Little, KC, is expected to open the case to the jury next week.
He is assisted by Joel Smith, while Marten is represented by John Ryder, KC, and Gordon by John Femi-Ola, KC, and Neena Crinnion.