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

29 January 2024, 18:30

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon deny manslaughter
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon deny manslaughter. Picture: Handout/Metropolitan Police
Fraser Knight

By Fraser Knight

A dog walker from Harwich in Essex has told a court he ‘could not walk away’ from the cries of a baby belonging to Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon.

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

“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.”

Inside the burnt out car on the M61
Inside the burnt out car on the M61. Picture: Metropolitan Police
Constance Marten
Constance Marten. Picture: Facebook

The dog walker claims to have spoken to the couple on 6th January 2023 in Harwich, while police were searching for them, having found a car on fire in Bolton, with Constance Marten’s passport inside.

Mr Gosling told the jury he’d offered to take them to hospital, telling them the authorities were worried about the baby’s welfare, but that Mark Gordon refused.

“He said to me that he was doing the best he could for his child and wanted to keep his family together,” he said.

“The baby looked brand new to me… its head was like a newborn and still had mucus and stuff on it… as if it had just been delivered”.

CCTV was shown of the couple walking through Bolton Interchange on 5th January, more than 200 miles away, not long after the prosecution said they’d been seen climbing over the barrier of the M61, leaving their burning car and belongings behind.

The trial heard they then asked a local resident for a lift ‘to the nearest town’.

Read More: Constance Marten's baby 'wore just a nappy as she took her on 200 mile trip across England on winter night'

Read More: Runaway aristocrat Constance Marten and lover Mark Gordon plead not guilty to baby daughter's manslaughter

The footage showed Mark Gordon and Constance Marten in wet jackets, with claims the newborn baby was being carried underneath Ms Marten’s coat.

It’s from there, it was said that they'd gotten a taxi to Liverpool, before flagging down another one to ask to go to Harwich, in Essex.

The driver, Ali Yaryar, gave evidence over video link saying: “The woman was cold when she got in the car, you could see she was shivering.

“They said the name of a city I didn’t know and gave me a postcode,” he added. “I didn’t know where it was.”

Mr Yaryar told the court he decided to swap his taxi for his personal car for the journey to Harwich because it was warmer and that it was only when they got to his house that he realised they had a baby with them.

“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,” he said in his evidence.

“She handed the baby to the man. It had no clothes on except a nappy.”

Under cross-examination, Mark Gordon’s lawyer, John Femi-Ola KC, asked the witness if this may 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.”

Location of the burnt out car
Location of the burnt out car. Picture: Metropolitan Police
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon's burnt out car on the M61
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon's burnt out car on the M61. Picture: Metropolitan Police

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”.

Baby Victoria was found dead on an allotment site in Brighton on 1st March and both Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have denied all the charges against them.

The trial continues.