Constance Marten’s baby ‘had no clothes to wear’ while parents ‘were on the run’

Constance Marten’s baby Victoria wasn’t wearing clothes, according to witnesses (Pictures: PA)

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon’s newborn baby had no clothes to wear while the couple were on the run despite winter temperatures, a court heard.

Marten, 36, who allegedly had access to thousands of pounds, and her partner Gordon, 49, criss-crossed the country in taxis and lived off-grid after the birth of their child, Victoria.

They were motivated by a ‘selfish’ desire to keep the baby, born on December 24, 2022, after their previous four children were taken into care, the Old Bailey has heard.

The pair were arrested in East Sussex on February 27, 2023, while their daughter’s body was discovered on March 1 in a Lidl bag covered in rubbish inside a disused shed, jurors were told.

They deny manslaughter by gross negligence of the baby between January 4 and February 27.

Jurors heard today how a missing persons inquiry was launched last January 5 after a Peugeot the defendants were allegedly using caught fire on a motorway near Bolton, Greater Manchester.

A placenta and items belonging to Marten were found in the burnt out vehicle on the M61 and a woman was seen climbing over the motorway barrier, the court was told.

Tributes left close to where Victoria’s body was found (Picture: PA)

A local resident who gave the couple a lift into Bolton town centre that evening described the baby as being wrapped in a blanket.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the couple walking into Bolton bus interchange with the baby allegedly underneath Marten’s coat.

They took a taxi to Liverpool for around £80 before taking another some 240 miles to arrive in Harwich, Essex, in the early hours of January 6, it is claimed.

Marten, pictured, was arrested alongside her partner on February 27, 2023 (Picture: PA)

Gordon, pictured, is on trial at the Old Bailey, alongside Marten (Credits: PA)

Cab driver Ali Yaryar told jurors how a man and a woman had flagged him down on Edge Lane in Liverpool.

He said the woman was ‘shivering’ and asked for him to turn the heating on before giving their destination in Essex.

He told jurors: ‘I said this is a long journey. We go to Heathrow airport from Liverpool for £500 but it’s a quiet night, I can go there if you want for £400.’

CCTV from January 7, 2023 shows Gordon and Marten being dropped off by a taxi on Whitechapel Road in London (Picture: PA)

Footage of the couple shortly after on the same road pushing a buggy (Picture: PA)

Prosecutor Joel Smith asked: ‘What did you notice about the lady?’

Mr Yaryar said he saw there was a baby inside the woman’s jacket dressed only in a nappy.

He offered the use of a car seat for the child but she declined, saying the baby was ‘too small’, he said.

During the journey, the couple explained that their car had broken down and the woman breastfed the baby.

Mr Yaryar said he heard the couple arguing, with the woman saying ‘he’s not very helpful’.

Police in woodland near Brighton, West Sussex, near to where baby Victoria’s remains were found (Picture: PA)

Cross-examining for Gordon, John Femi-Ola KC suggested the baby did have clothes and had only been wearing a nappy while she being changed.

Mr Yaryar replied: ‘I think the baby had no clothes.’

He said it had been cold that night and the man was struggling to calm the baby, who was crying.

Mr Yaryar said he noticed news stories about Marten and Gordon a few days later and believed they were the pair he took in his taxi.

On Friday, jurors were told Marten – who comes from a wealthy family – received a payment of £15,590 from a family trust fund into her Metrobank account on December 22, 2022.

Marten comes from a wealthy family (Picture: Facebook)

Another payment was made to her on January 3 from a different trust, this time for £3,400.

In his opening statement, prosecutor Tom Little KC had told the jury Marten prioritised her finances on transport and staying off-grid instead of ‘warmth and safety’ for her baby.

The defendants are also charged with perverting the course of justice, concealing the birth of a child, child cruelty, and causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.

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