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

30 January 2024, 15:13 | Updated: 30 January 2024, 15:16

Constance Marten looked 'scruffy' and was mistaken for being 'homeless', a witness has said
Constance Marten looked 'scruffy' and was mistaken for being 'homeless', a witness has said. Picture: Metropolitan Police

By Fraser Knight and Kieran Kelly

Runaway aristocrat Constance Marten looked "scruffy" as she browsed "skimpy" dresses in east London while 'on the run' with her partner and their newborn baby, the Old Bailey was told today.

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Marten and her boyfriend, Mark Gordon, went missing towards the end of December 2022 with their newborn baby.

Police launched a manhunt for the trio after they found a placenta in their burnt-out car on the site of a motorway in January 5, 2023.

Just days later, Marten and Gordon travelled across England before paying £400 for a taxi to take them to Essex.

Marten was then seen in East Ham, London, by graphic designer, Nicola Hutton, who says the aristocrat was behaving "strangely".

“She was in front of a shop opposite Holland and Barrett. I remember it had bright red skimpy dresses in the front window”, Ms Hutton told the court.

“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.”

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon. Picture: Metropolitan Police

The graphic designer told the court that she assumed Marten, 36, was homeless as she looked “scruffy” and had a “bulge” in her coat.

“I remember thinking: 'There are some odd people in London'," she went on.

Ms Hutton then recognised the woman as Marten after seeing her picture on the news the following day.

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

Read More: Cries of runaway aristocrat Constance Marten’s ‘brand new’ child were ‘traumatising’, court hears

The Old Bailey was also told today that Gordon, 48, bought his newborn baby a buggy in Argos, East Ham, and also visited the local chemist.

On Monday, a dog walker from Harwich in Essex has told the court he ‘could not walk away’ from the cries of their newborn baby, which was named Victoria.

Dale Gosling gave evidence to the couple’s trial as they deny the manslaughter of Baby Victoria and child cruelty.

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon. Picture: Metropolitan Police

“I was walking in the Harwich Port area when I saw a couple sitting on a planter and walked towards them,” Mr Gosling said after seeing a report about the runaway Aristocrat and her partner on the news that morning.

He said the child being held by Ms Marten was crying and that “it was a cry that I didn’t want to walk away from - that I couldn’t walk away from.

“The baby sounded distressed... It was really traumatising to listen to.”

He claimed to have spoken to Marten and Gordon on January 6th, which would have been before they were spotted in east Ham by Ms Hutton.

Both Marten and Gordon 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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