Constance Marten and Mark Gordon remanded on manslaughter charge after baby’s remains found
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have been remanded into custody charged with manslaughter
and live on Freeview channel 276
The couple appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Friday accused of three charges, including concealing the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice. The court heard that the remains of a baby were found in a plastic bag under some nappies in an allotment shed.
Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth and that they were of no fixed abode during a short hearing. Mr Gordon wore a grey jumper over his head throughout the hearing.
The aristocrat and her partner were charged with the offences on Thursday (2 March) after the remains of the infant were found on Wednesday afternoon following a major search operation. The pair will appear at the Old Bailey on 31 March.
The body of a newborn was found in the Hollingbury area of Brighton, East Sussex, after a two-day search operation involving helicopters, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging cameras and drones, as well as hundreds of police officers and search and rescue teams.
Ms Marten and Mr Gordon were arrested on Stanmer Villas in Brighton on Monday after police attempted to establish their whereabouts over the course of several weeks.
The case was referred to the police watchdog by the force, and the Independent Office for Police Conduct said in a statement that it is “currently assessing the referral to determine what, if any, further action is required from us”.
Remanding Ms Marten and Mr Gordon into custody, chairwoman of the bench of magistrates Carol Lintott said: “You are both here today… on charges of manslaughter, concealment of the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice.
“We are sending the case to the crown court sitting at the Old Bailey. We are remanding you in custody until that time.”
The infant is yet to be formally identified and a post-mortem examination is due to take place on Friday (3 March). Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, from the Metropolitan Police, previously said officers have been unable to determine the baby’s gender.
The force’s Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said officers had been unable to determine the baby’s gender. He told reporters the case had been referred to the police watchdog.
He said: “At this stage we have not yet been able to confirm the baby’s gender and post-mortem examination has not yet taken place.
“Despite this, based on our inquiries we’ve carried out so far, we believe sadly the baby may have been dead for some time before they were found. It is too early for us to provide a more specific date.
“Because we believe the death occurred during the course of a missing person investigation, we have made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).”
The IOPC said in a statement that it is “currently assessing the referral to determine what, if any, further action is required from us”.