Images of runaway aristocrat Constance Marten's baby Victoria shown to jury for first time

30 January 2024, 16:33 | Updated: 30 January 2024, 16:49

Constance Marten cradling her baby inside her coat while on the run

By Fraser Knight

Images of Constance Marten's baby have been shown for the first time during her trial.

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The runaway aristocrat is seen cradling the child in her coat and getting out of a taxi with her co-accused partner Mark Gordon.

The couple has denied allowing or causing baby Victoria's death, after she was found dead in Brighton on March 1 2023.

Jurors were played footage from their time on the run, with Ms Marten seen on East Ham High Street in London on January 7.

Cameras captured Ms Marten opening her bulging jacket and readjusting the way her child was sitting underneath it.

The baby can clear been seen in some frames, with Ms Marten standing with a red scarf or towel wrapped around her head.

Read more: ‘Scruffy’ Constance Marten ‘had bulge in her jacket as she browsed skimpy dresses during manhunt’, court hears

The prosecution says she was walking around the street while her partner visited a number of shops, including a pharmacy, before he then went to buy a buggy from an Argos store.

Mark Gordon, 48, sat alone in the dock, covering his face while some of the footage was played before his lawyer John Femi-Ola KC asked the judge for a break, saying it was "distressing".

Constance Marten with her baby arriving in East Ham High St

At that point, Mr Gordon held his head back against the wall, looking up at the ceiling.

In another clip, Ms Marten is seen getting out of a taxi with a shopping bag as Mr Gordon hands her Victoria and gets out. The pair walk off together.

The court also heard a witness statement from a woman who claims to have seen Ms Marten from the bus she was travelling on through East Ham.

Nicola Hutton, a graphic designer said: "She was in front of a shop opposite Holland and Barrett. I remember it had bright red skimpy dresses in the front window.

"I saw her look into the shop window for about a minute before she moved on. She slowly ambled as if not in a hurry to get anywhere."

Read more: CCTV shows Constance Marten and her lover with their newborn 'hidden up her coat'

She added: "Based on the way she was dressed, I thought she may be homeless. She was very scruffy but was looking at dresses which wouldn’t suit a homeless person."

"I remember thinking: ‘There are some odd people in London’."

Earlier in the day, the jury also heard a witness statement from a taxi driver who said she'd picked up the couple in Harwich, Essex, the same morning.

Marten and Gordon deny manslaughter
Marten and Gordon deny manslaughter. Picture: Social media/police

Colette Franklin said: "I noticed when a police car was approaching us that the male slumped down in the seat, which I thought was strange but when he stayed like that after it had passed I thought he must be more comfortable."

Ms Franklin said the couple had asked to be taken to London but that she could only go as far as Colchester.

The jury heard another taxi then took the couple to East Ham, with CCTV footage showing Mark Gordon passing the baby out of the car to his partner, before then lifting out a Lidl bag for life.

Ms Franklin's witness statement went on to say: "About 15 minutes [after leaving them in Colchester] I got a phone call from the police saying they had interest in the people I had dropped off.

"A few hours later I got another call from the police and was given a name to Google and I immediately recognised them as the people I had dropped off."

Baby Victoria was found inside a bag on an allotment site in Brighton almost two months later, following Mark Gordon and Constance Marten's arrest.

They both deny charges of manslaughter by gross negligence, perverting the course of justice, concealing the birth of a child, causing or allowing the death of a child and child cruelty.

The trial continues.

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