Constance Marten’s partner told police the fugitive aristocrat was a ‘good mother’ and ‘would never do anything to harm a child’, court hears
- Go deeper into the trial of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon with the Mail's acclaimed podcast The Trial. Click here or find it on Spotify or Apple
Mark Gordon, 49, and Marten are accused of killing their daughter Victoria in January last year as the couple tried to prevent her being taken away by social services.
The couple had spent nearly two months tent camping in the bitterly cold South Downs before Victoria, wearing only a onesie, allegedly froze to death. Her body was later found in a Lidl supermarket bag inside a disused shed on an allotment.
Gordon told police he believed Marten was suffering from 'a post-traumatic thing' when Victoria died and that 'she would never do anything to harm a child', jurors heard today.
He claimed they had wanted to 'safeguard' the child, the 'whole thing' was for her and what happened could not have been predicted.
Marten and Gordon, of no fixed address, deny manslaughter, perverting the course of justice, concealing the birth of a child, child cruelty and causing or allowing the death of a child.
The partner of fugitive aristocrat Constance Marten (pictured) told police she was a 'good mother' and had 'done nothing wrong' when questioned about the death of their newborn baby Victoria, her trial has heard
Mark Gordon, 49, (pictured) told police he believed Marten was suffering from 'a post-traumatic thing' when Victoria died and that 'she would never do anything to harm a child', jurors heard today
Gordon, pictured alongside Marten in a court sketch from today, claimed the couple had wanted to 'safeguard' the child, the 'whole thing' was for her and what happened could not have been predicted
Gordon initially refused to answer questions when he and Marten were arrested last year, the Old Bailey was told today.
In a March 2 police interview, Gordon started by saying he would give his testimony to a jury. A detective then told him that Marten had confirmed a baby who was found dead the day before was their daughter Victoria, the court heard.
Gordon was also informed that Marten had explained the child died after she fell asleep holding her but that he had advised her to say it was a 'cot death', jurors heard.
After consulting with his lawyer, Gordon said that 'barring a few nuances' that was what happened. He told police: 'It had to be very traumatic for her, you have to understand I love her. I love her.
'I would do anything for her and she loves children and that's our fifth child and we wanted to have that child.'
He told officers that he believed Marten was suffering from PTSD when the baby died after she fell asleep with her in her arms.
'She is a very special person. She's an awesome woman and she would never do anything to harm a child under any circumstances,' he said.
He added that Marten was a 'beautiful, intelligent woman' and he was a 'man who loves his wife'.
'I love her, I would do anything for her and we wanted to have that child, it's her child,' Gordon told police.
'She has actually experienced the post-traumatic distress and she was in a situation where she was quite vulnerable and that led to things that were never predictable on either of our parts.
'And it's an unfortunate, sad, very sad thing.'
In footage shown during the trial, Marten is seen keeping the baby under her coat before unzipping it and exposing her in east London on January 7
Jurors were shown little Victoria's face (centre) for the first time last month as her parents Constance Marten (right) and Mark Gordon (left) sat inside a kebab shop
The heartbreaking moment the body of a missing newborn girl was found inside a Lidl supermarket bag has been shown at the trial of aristocrat Constance Marten
The defendant insisted there was 'nothing sinister' or 'dark' and said that sometimes the media made things seem 'worse than what they are'.
Gordon told officers: 'What have I done that you don't think is right here?
'I have done everything I think right. If you listen to me, I have done nothing really wrong. I have supported my wife. Tried my best to be a husband. And I don't think she has done anything wrong, actually, in trying to take care of her child.'
He added: 'But I think in the circumstances, the car exploding, and you have to understand four children have gone to social services, she's a good mother and I don't think they had actual reason to do what they did.
'We had provision, lots of provisions, the baby was taken care of. But then she explained what happened and it was a very, very serious and unfortunate thing that happened and no one could ever have anticipated or looked into glass and see what happened and I hate that it happened the way it has.
'The fact is I do love her very much and I don't find her to be at blame at all because she was in post-traumatic stress.'
An image dated January 5, 2023 from the Metropolitan Police of Mark Gordon and Constance Marten's burning Peugeot 206 on the M61, which was played in court during their trial
A picture presented during the trial, shows the burnt out Peugeot 206 on the side of the M61
A picture shows the inside of the couple's burnt out car. The baby's placenta was found in the vehicle, the Old Bailey heard
Pictured is the shed in Lower Roedale Allotments, East Sussex, where a Lidl bag was found which contained the body of baby Victoria. The photo was shown in court during the trial of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon
A photo of baby clothing found in a Lidl bag in a shed in Lower Roedale Allotments, East Sussex which included the body of Victoria
The Trial takes listeners behind the headlines and into the courtrooms of some of the biggest criminal cases in the world.
The first series, 'The Trial of Lucy Letby' received more than 13million downloads.
Season two focused on the murder of Ashling Murphy, a 23-year-old teacher from Ireland. Season three followed the case of the murder of Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old teenager.
Season four will follow the evidence as the jury hears it in twice weekly reports from The Daily Mail's news reporter, Jack Hardy, and broadcast journalist, Caroline Cheetham.
They will take you into the courtroom to bring you the details as the evidence unfolds, to examine key moments and to carry out exclusive interviews with detectives, victims, and experts.Advertisement
The court also heard how the couple went missing with their newborn baby after their car burst into flames near Bolton, Greater Manchester, last January.
Gordon told police during his interview that the car 'exploded out of nowhere' and that in 'hindsight' they should have stayed with the vehicle to 'deal' with the situation.
Victoria's placenta was found in the exploded vehicle on a Manchester motorway, sparking a huge police hunt, the Old Bailey heard.
It is alleged that they slept in a tent 'off-grid' in a bid to keep the baby, after Marten's four other children were taken into care.
Last March 1, Victoria's remains were found in a Lidl supermarket bag inside a disused shed on an allotment.
On Tuesday, jurors viewed in the courtroom a blue tent and two sleeping bags said to be identical to the items bought by Gordon at Argos.
The tent, which measures four foot six inches by six foot eight inches, was carried towards the jury by the court usher and a police officer and placed beside the judge.
Prosecutor Tom Little, KC, invited jurors to approach the tent and feel the thickness of the material.
Jurors bent down to look inside the tent and felt the material in the doorway. Two jurors climbed inside the small tent together.
A juror then sent a note to the judge asking how tall Marten and Gordon are.
Two sleeping bags from Argos, the same as two the defendants also purchased, were then passed around for the jury to feel- an adult blue sleeping bag with stars on and a children's sleeping bag with rainbows and unicorns on.
Jurors then asked to be provided with a Lidl bag for life identical to the one Victoria was found in.
The jury was also provided with a list of the highest and lowest temperatures each day at weather stations near to the areas the couple slept.
The temperatures ranged from minus 4.3 degrees to 11.3 degrees.
Meteorologist Dr Richard Wild told the court that the area the couple slept in had a normal amount of rain in January 2023 for the time of year.
But the weather expert said that February 2023 was 'significantly drier than average' in the area, with about a fifth of the rainfall of an average February.
Bodycamera footage shows the moment detectives confronted Marten. Police repeatedly asked her 'where is your child?' in the footage after she and Gordon were tracked down
A screen grab taken from body worn camera footage issued by the Metropolitan Police shows the moment Mark Gordon was arrested in the street
CCTV footage of Constance Marten buying supplies at Texaco in Newhaven, which was shown in court during their tria
CCTV footage of Constance Marten filling a bottle with petrol at Texaco in Newhaven, which was shown in court during the trial
Marten and Gordon met in a shop in London 2016 and got married in a ceremony in Peru, not recognised in UK law, about a year or two later.
They had four children in quick succession who were all taken into care after Marten fell from a window and social service believed Gordon pushed her, she told police.
The couple deny the manslaughter of Victoria by gross negligence, concealment of the birth of a child, cruelty to a person under 16 and perverting the course of justice by disposing of the body.
Marten comes from a wealthy aristocratic family and her father was a page to Queen Elizabeth II.
She told police her family hired private investigators after she met Gordon and were working with social services for years trying to 'get involved' with the children.
The Old Bailey trial continues.