An aristocrat and her partner are facing an Old Bailey trial over the death of their baby daughter.
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon are charged with the manslaughter of their baby Victoria, who was found dead in Brighton on 1 March after a two-day search. Baby Victoria’s remains were discovered in a plastic bag in a locked shed at an overgrown allotment in the Hollingbury area of the East Sussex seaside city.
The grim discovery came after Marten and Gordon were arrested in Stanmer Villas in Brighton. An initial post-mortem examination was unable to establish the cause of the child’s death and it is understood that tests are ongoing.
Police had been attempting to establish the defendants’ whereabouts for more than a month. The couple first went missing with baby Victoria on 5 January, after their car broke down near Bolton.
The couple were charged on 2 March with the manslaughter of baby Victoria, concealment of the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice. On Friday, Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, appeared in the dock of Court One of the Old Bailey before the Common Serjeant of London, Judge Richard Marks KC.
Marten wore a smart white and black patterned blouse and Gordon was dressed in a grey sweatshirt. The pair, who have no fixed address, spoke only to confirm their names and dates of birth.
Judge Marks set a plea and case management hearing for 18 August with the defendants to appear by video link. A provisional trial at the Old Bailey before the Recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft KC, was set for 2 January 2024.
The case is expected to last between four and six weeks. There was no application made for bail and the defendants were remanded into custody.