Matthew Wright 7am - 10am
Constance Marten's baby 'wore just a nappy as she took her on 200 mile trip across England on winter night'
29 January 2024, 14:35
A taxi driver who took runaway aristocrat Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon from Liverpool to Essex last January has said their baby "had no clothes".
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Ali Yaryar told the Old Bailey over video link that he was flagged down near Liverpool Royal Hospital on 5th January 2023 and asked to make the more than 200-mile journey to Essex.
"They said the name of a city I didn't know and gave me a postcode. I didn't know where it was.
"The woman was cold, you could see she was shivering."
Mr Yaryar told the court he decided to swap his taxi for his personal car to take Ms Marten and Mr Gordon to Harwich, in Essex, because it was warmer and that it was when they got to his house that he realised they had a baby with them.
"I said to them this is a long journey and said we go to Heathrow Airport for £500. I said I could go for £400," which the court heard Mr Gordon paid up front in £20 notes.
"We stopped off at a service station and they stayed in the car but when I came back, the lady went inside to buy nappies and sandwiches and a soft drink.
"She handed the baby to the man. It had no clothes on except a nappy."
Ms Marten's lawyer, John Femi-Ola KC, asked Mr Yaryar if that could have been because the child had its nappy changed in the car.
Mr Yaryar said: "I think the baby had no clothes and I didn't see a nappy being put out."
The taxi driver said they arrived in Harwich - near the sea - at around 2am and that his passengers "looked like they didn't know where they were".
"They had no phone and no bags with them," he added.
He said it was a few days later when he saw news articles about his passengers.
Ms Marten and Mr Gordon deny the manslaughter of baby Victoria, child cruelty and concealing the birth of a child.
They also deny causing or allowing the death of a child and perverting the course of justice.
The court heard that before the taxi ride, the couple's car had caught fire near Bolton on the M61 and that they had been seen grabbing things out of its boot before climbing over the barrier at the side of the road and walking towards a residential area.
A nationwide manhunt was sparked after a placenta was found wrapped in a towel in the burning car, the jury was told, with Greater Manchester Police putting out an appeal about the burning car while they were travelling to Liverpool.
Their child was found dead inside a carrier bag on an allotment site in Brighton on 1st March.
The trial continues.