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Constance Marten and Mark Gordon hid baby's location from police, court hears

Jurors have seen dramatic video of the moment Constance Marten was arrested in the street and asked repeatedly: "Where is your child?"

Ms Marten and her partner Mark Gordon did not tell police officers where their newborn baby was during their arrest in Brighton last year, the trial heard.

The couple are accused of the manslaughter by gross negligence of their newborn baby girl, Victoria.

They both deny the charges.

Ms Marten, 36, and Mr Gordon, 49, had allegedly been living with their baby off grid in a tent on the South Downs while on the run from police.

Last February 27, police finally tracked them down to the Hollingbury area of Brighton after they were spotted by a member of the public.

In footage played at the Old Bailey, police officers could be heard asking "where's your child?", but the couple do not reply.

As the officers attempted to restrain Mr Gordon on Golf Drive, he started trying to eat some food he had just bought. "You can eat in a minute once I have found out who you are," Police Sergeant Robert Button told him.

Ms Marten can be heard telling officers to leave Mr Gordon alone as officers tried to handcuff him.

"I can't watch... leave him alone. Let him eat his food... he's starving," she said. "Please stop, he's not well."

Responding to her pleas, Sgt Button told her: "If he's not well, he needs to comply, doesn't he?"

At the time of her arrest, Ms Marten told officers her name was Arabella.

"Constance, Arabella, whoever you are," Sgt Button said while looking at a photograph of Ms Marten on his phone. "Where's your child?" he asked, but the couple did not reply.

At one point in the footage, Ms Marten seemed to refer to Mr Gordon as "Daddy Bear" when asked once again about the child's location.

"Daddy Bear, are you alright?," she later asked Mr Gordon. "I love you," she added.

When told she was under arrest, she replied: "You can't arrest me for hiding a pregnancy."

The court was also shown footage from the camera of PC Matthew Colburn.

In the footage, Mr Gordon refused to answer questions about where his baby was and kept asking for food instead. PC Colburn offered ginger beer, chicken and crisps from Mr Gordon's shopping bag.

When Mr Gordon then asked for mayonnaise to go with his chicken, PC Colburn replied: "I'm not going to make you a sandwich. We need to work out where your child is."

Mr Gordon then asked the officer: "What's the big deal?"

"What's the big deal? We need to find your child," he replied. "That's the bigger deal than getting you your food."

He added: "The number one priority is your child. It might not be your priority but it is everyone else's priority."

Mr Gordon is later asked by PC Colburn if the baby is dead, to which he replied: "The crisps are really good."

PC Colburn told the court that he had never given food to a suspect after arresting them before, but offered it to Mr Gordon as he "had potentially not eaten for days, weeks or even months."

At another point in the footage, the couple told each other "I love you" while being asked for their child's whereabouts.

"Be good. I love you forever," Mr Gordon said. "Forever and ever more," he added.

A few minutes before their arrest on 27 February, a CCTV camera had filmed Ms Marten in the Post Office on Hollingbury Place in Brighton. She was seen putting a tin of food in her pocket which then fell through onto the floor, after which she picked it up and returned it to the shelf.

Then two other cameras recorded Ms Marten outside the nearby Mulberry's convenience store making three cash withdrawals, and Mr Gordon paying cash for some shopping.

They had been spotted by Dale Cooley who recognised them as the couple from the news who were missing with a newborn baby.

In a statement read to the jury, Mr Cooley recalled how he had followed the couple in his car. Ms Marten seemed to be in a rush and Mr Gordon was following behind with a "massive stick".

"Their behaviour seemed strange as though they were trying to stay hidden," he said. "The female was ahead of the male and looked to be in a hurry."

He said at one point he tried to engage the couple in conversation, asking about the road they were on, but Mr Gordon just replied: "We do not know."

Eventually, Mr Cooley dialled 999 and told the police what he had seen and Mr Gordon and Ms Marten were arrested on Golf Drive.

It was seven weeks and a day since they had first walked onto the South Downs with their newborn baby.

Earlier, the jury watched footage recorded on CCTV cameras at Hollingbury Golf Club in the early hours of 20 February 2023.

It showed Mr Gordon going up a fire escape and then apparently trying to force a door of the building. The footage also showed Mr Gordon and Ms Marten rummaging through a large wheelie bin, taking things out of it and putting them in a "bag for life."

The jury has heard that two days after their arrest, on 1 March, the body of Mr Gordon and Ms Marten's newborn baby Victoria was found under some rubbish in a Lidl "bag for life" inside a shed on some nearby allotments.

As well as manslaughter, the couple are also accused of four other offences: cruelty to their baby; concealment of the baby's birth; causing or allowing her death; and perverting the course of justice by concealing the body.

The trial continues.