Jury out in Constance Marten baby death trial

A jury has begun deliberating on verdicts in the trial of fugitive mother Constance Marten.

Wealthy aristocrat Marten, 36, and her partner Mark Gordon, 49, are charged over the death of their daughter Victoria who died after they went off-grid on the South Downs.

The couple had fled authorities last January in an attempt to keep their newborn child after four other children were taken into care, the Old Bailey trial has heard.

They were arrested in Brighton last February 27, two days before Victoria’s decomposed body was found inside a Lidl bag in a disused allotment shed.

The cause of the child’s death could not be established.

Marten has claimed her daughter died by accident when she fell asleep holding her under her jacket the day after pitching a tent.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Constance Marten appearing at the Old Bailey
Court artist sketch of Constance Marten appearing at the Old Bailey (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

The defendants, of no fixed address, deny manslaughter by gross negligence, perverting the course of justice, concealing the birth of a child, child cruelty, and causing or allowing the death of a child.

At 4.01pm on Tuesday, Judge Mark Lucraft KC sent the 11-strong jury out to begin deliberating on verdicts.

After just over half an hour, jurors came back into court and were told by Judge Lucraft to “press the pause button” on their discussions.

The jury will resume deliberations at 10am on Wednesday.

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