Advertisement

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon trial: Aristocrat mother asked 'where is your baby?' as police arrest her

Jurors have been shown the dramatic moment police arrested an aristocrat and repeatedly asked her: "Where is your child?"

Constance Marten, 36, was tracked down by officers in Brighton along with Mark Gordon, 49, after the couple went off grid and were reportedly living in a tent with their newborn daughter Victoria in February last year.

Victoria's body was found days later in a Lidl supermarket bag covered in rubbish in a disused shed.

Marten, a wealthy aristocrat, and Gordon are on trial accused of the manslaughter of their newborn daughter.

They 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.

An officer's bodycam footage showing the moment of arrest sees Marten being told that she is under arrest for child neglect.

Marten replied: "For doing what?"

She was then asked by officers: "Where's your child? Where's your child? Sorry, where is your child, we need to know?" to which she did not respond.

A dog handler then asks her: "Tell me now because I'm going to send the dog into the wood to try and find someone so you tell me where it is now."

Marten was then further arrested for concealment of the birth of a child, which she is heard saying was "not an arrestable offence", adding: "You can't arrest someone for hiding a pregnancy."

'I'm not going to make you a sandwich'

Sergeant Robert Button was one of the officers who assisted in the arrest. He told jurors at the Old Bailey on Tuesday that Marten appeared to be wearing "furniture stuffing" for insulation and the pair smelled "unclean and unwashed".

After he approached Gordon, Sergeant Button is heard saying: "Hello. Sorry mate, can you stop for a second? Stop alright, I need to speak to you."

When asked why he was running away, Gordon resisted arrest, complaining that he was hungry and "wasn't doing anything".

A distressed Marten then intervened saying: "Stop with him please, he's not well. Oh my god, I can't watch. Leave him alone. Let him eat his food. He's starving."

PC Matthew Colburn helped handcuff Gordon and asked repeatedly where the child was and whether it was alive as the defendant continued to demand food and drink.

He was given ginger beer, chicken and crisps, before asking for mayonnaise, saying he did not want to talk and asked why finding the baby was the "bigger deal".

"I'm not going to make you a sandwich, we've got a child to find," PC Colburn was heard replying on body-worn video.

"We need to potentially save a life. That's the number one priority. It may not be your priority, but it's everyone else's priority."

Read more from Sky News:
Prince Harry arrives at Clarence House to see father
XL bully owner now wants them 'wiped out'
Heavy snow to hit UK

PC Colburn said he had never given a suspect food after arresting them before. He told jurors he quickly came to the realisation the couple potentially had not eaten for days, weeks, or even months.

'Trying to stay hidden'

A search for the pair started after Greater Manchester Police found a placenta in the couple's burnt-out car on a motorway near Bolton.

Jurors have also been shown CCTV footage which appears to show a woman, alleged to be the aristocrat, filling up a bottle with petrol from a pump.

In separate footage, a woman thought to be Marten is shown using cash to buy items including Coca-Cola, Haribo sweets, Mini Cheddars, and matches.

Before their arrest, resident Dale Cooley spotted Gordon carrying a stick with one foot wrapped in a plastic bag, which he thought was "strange".

Recognising them from the news, he tried to engage them in conversation and phoned his wife to say the pair were acting strangely, "as if they were trying to stay hidden".

Mr Cooley called police at around 9.26pm and the pair were arrested at around 9.35pm.

The trial continues.