Constance Marten and lover deny killing baby after couple 'lived off grid during 54-day police hunt before tot died' | The Sun

A RUNAWAY aristocrat and her lover have denied killing their baby daughter during a 54-day police search.

Constance Marten, 36, and Mark Gordon, 49, were charged after little Victoria was found dead inside a locked shed on an allotment.

The couple appeared at the Old Bailey today where they denied gross negligence manslaughter, concealing the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice.

They also pleaded not guilty to two further charges of child cruelty and causing or allowing the death of a child.

When asked to enter her plea, Marten replied: "Absolutely not guilty".

The pair, who are due to stand trial in January next year, were told to stop talking to each by the judge.

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Marten and Gordon sparked a frantic nationwide hunt after placenta was found in a burning car on the M61 in Bolton on January 5.

They were arrested in Brighton, East Sussex, on February 27 following a tip-off.

Baby Victoria was found wrapped in a plastic bag and covered with nappies in a shed at an overgrown allotment two days later.

Prosecutors say Marten's pregnancy was "hidden" from medical professionals, family and friends.

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After she had a "surreptitious" birth, the couple lived off-grid with the baby in a tent in Sussex "in the middle of winter", it is alleged.

The couple allegedly only made payments in cash and booked hotels using fake names to evade police.

A post mortem carried out previously was unable to establish a cause of death with further tests being carried out.

Marten and Gordon allegedly caused the baby's death by their own "unlawful act" or failed to "take such steps as could reasonably have been expected" to protect her.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place between January 4 and February 27.

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