Lover of runaway aristocrat Constance Marten fails to attend court after firing his solicitors before trial for ‘killing their newborn daughter and leaving her body in a shed’
- Mark Gordon and Constance went on the run with their daughter in January
- Baby Victoria was later found dead in a plastic bag on a Brighton allotment
The lover of runaway aristocrat Constance Marten did not attend court today after firing his solicitors before the start of the trial over the death of their newborn baby.
Mark Gordon, 48, and his girlfriend Constance, 35, sparked a huge police hunt after they went on the run with their daughter in January this year.
Baby Victoria was later found dead in a plastic bag in a shed under a heap of nappies on a Brighton allotment.
Gordon did not appear at the Old Bailey for today’s hearing. A note from HMP Belmarsh said he was not well enough to attend as he had been up all night and could not concentrate.
Gordon had previously complained about being produced at court on a video-link and asked to be produced in court in person.
The court heard there had been a breakdown in the relationship between Gordon and his solicitors.
His current solicitor Kevin Light told the court he could no longer represent him.
Marten and Gordon are accused of the manslaughter of Victoria, concealment of the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice. Their trial is set for 2 January 2024.
Hundreds of officers from the Metropolitan Police and Sussex Police, as well as search and rescue volunteers, scoured 90 square miles of land in the search for the baby.
The couple were caught on CCTV wearing heavy outdoor clothing, carrying bags down the street, before they were arrested.
They were reported missing on 5 January after their car caught fire on the M61 near Bolton.
It is thought Marten had given birth just a few days before and had not been assessed by medical professionals.
Over the following days, there were sightings of them in a number of places, including Liverpool, Essex, south London and East Sussex.
The couple had been sleeping rough in a blue tent and had avoided being traced by the police by only making payments in cash and booking hotels using false names.
Marten was born to a wealthy family and grew up at Dorset estate Crichel House and her grandmother was a playmate of Princess Margaret.
The promising drama student met Gordon in 2016 and they led a nomadic lifestyle after leaving their home in southeast London last September.
Marten’s estranged father Napier Marten is a former page to the late Queen and her mother was the Queen Mother’s goddaughter.
Marten worked as a freelance photographer before starting her drama course, and dropped out when she met Gordon.
Mr Marten and her mother Virginie de Selliers made public pleas for Constance’s whereabouts through the media while police offered a £10,000 reward for information leading to the couple being found.