The baby of aristocrat Constance Marten is believed to be ‘a girl named Victoria,’ it was said after the mother and her lover appeared in court today charged with the manslaughter of their newborn.
Marten, 35, and her Mark Gordon, 48, appeared before magistrates in Crawley, where the court heard the baby was found dead in a locked shed wrapped in a plastic bag under a pile of nappies.
They spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth and that they were of no fixed abode during a short hearing in front of a packed courtroom.
The pair have been remanded into custody charged with manslaughter, perverting the course of justice and concealing the birth of a child.
The gender and name of the baby were confirmed by a court clerk following the short hearing.
Constance Marten, 35, who was missing with her lover Mark Gordon, 48
Mark Gordon (pictured today) has appeared in court this afternoon alongside Constance Marten
Court sketches of Constance Marten (left) and her partner Mark Gordon (right) who entered the dock wearing a grey sweatshirt and trousers and a grey sweatshirt on his head
As a post mortem was due to get underway on the newborn baby, the pair were brought up from cells to Court 1. Gordon entered the dock first wearing a grey sweatshirt and trousers and a grey sweatshirt on his head.
Marten entered the dock next wearing a similar outfit. She smiled when she saw Gordon and leant forward to greet him.
The pair sat at opposite ends of the dock and were separated by two security officers but spoke to each other as they awaited the arrival of the magistrates.
Marten, who has long curly, brown hair, smiled as she sat in the dock while Gordon was straight-faced and kept the sweatshirt on his head.
Jeremy King, prosecuting, said: ‘It was on Jan 5 this year a placenta was discovered in an abandoned motor vehicle with Miss Marten’s passport next to it. Miss Marten had been in a relationship with Mr Gordon since 2015.’
He said a missing person campaign was launched.
Mr King said the couple had been travelling around the country by using taxis and staying in hotels. In Whitechapel they were spotted buying camping equipment and were last seen in Newhaven on CCTV close to the ferry.
Mr King said: ‘Initially they refused to answer any questions by the police. An extensive search was carried out in an overgrown allotment plot.
‘Inside a locked shed, wrapped in plastic bag under nappies the baby was found inside. Life was pronounced extinct.’
The magistrates in Crawley were told the court case was going to be transferred to the Central Criminal Court in London.
Detectives from Sussex and the Metropolitan Police launched a huge search for the baby
Extensive searches were carried out by the police in woodland and allotments
Gordon after leaving Crawley Magistrates Court where he and Marten appeared today
Court artist sketch of Mark Gordon, with a grey jumper over his head, and Constance Marten appearing at Crawley Magistrates Court
Gordon and Marten were arrested on Monday after police spent several weeks searching for them
Lewes Power KQ , defending for Marten, said that while there would be no application for bail on behalf of Marten today but he was ‘putting the court on notice’ there would be one at a future date.
The arrest of aristocrat Marten and Gordon in the Hollingbury area of Brighton brought to an end a nationwide police hunt that began when they fled seven weeks ago with their baby.
However the couple were without their baby newborn when officers swooped in to arrest them.
Detectives from Sussex and the Metropolitan Police launched a huge search of an public allotments close to where they were arrested.
Search teams with sniffer dogs, drones, helicopters and officers using heat-seeking equipment struggled to find the body.
They alerted police who immediately swooped on an area of woodland and allotments not yet searched by officers.
At a press conference Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford of the Met Police said it was clear the baby’s remains had been there for ‘several weeks’.
They said it is also too early to provide a specific date of death.
A post mortem is due to be carried out by a specialist paediatric pathologist today.
Marten and Gordon are set to appear before the Central Criminal Court on March 31.