Constance Marten and partner ‘camped off-grid’ with their baby in tent weeks before newborn's body was found

16 August 2023, 20:00 | Updated: 16 August 2023, 20:04

A court hear that the pair went 'off-grid' with their baby in the weeks before the newborn's body was found.
A court hear that the pair went 'off-grid' with their baby in the weeks before the newborn's body was found. Picture: Alamy/PA

By Jenny Medlicott

Constance Marten and her partner ‘camped off-grid’ with their newborn daughter in the middle of winter just weeks before their baby was found dead.

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Constance Marten, 35, a runaway aristocrat, and her partner Mark Gordon, 48, lived off-grid with their baby in a tent in Sussex “in the middle of winter”, a court heard today.

The pair suddenly disappeared with Victoria on January 5 which sparked a huge manhunt for their whereabouts.

It was also said during court that Marten had a "surreptitious birth" and during their disappearance the couple only made payments in cash and booked hotels using fake names to avoid police.

After weeks of searching the parents were found and arrested at the end of February.

Victoria was later found in a plastic bag underneath a pile of nappies in a plastic bag in Hollingbury, east Sussex on March 1.

Read more: Aristocrat Constance Marten, 36, and partner, 49, face two new charges after death of their newborn baby

Read more: Aristocrat Constance Marten and her boyfriend to face trial next year over baby girl's death

Constance Marten (left) and Mark Gordon (right) appeared at the Old Bailey.
Constance Marten (left) and Mark Gordon (right) appeared at the Old Bailey. Picture: Alamy

An initial post-mortem examination was unable to establish a cause of death for Victoria.

The pair were charged with her manslaughter by gross negligence on March 2, as well as charges of concealing a child’s birth and perverting the course of justice.

They are also facing two further charges of child cruelty and causing or allowing the death of a child.

Marten and Gordon are set to appear for a mention hearing to consider custody time limits - how long they can be kept in custody before trial - on August 25.

No pleas have been entered but a provisional four-to-six week trial date is set for January 2.

Aged 35, Constance, is from a high status family with her father being a page to Queen Elizabeth II and grandmother Mary Anna Marten was the goddaughter of the late Queen Mother.

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