33 minutes ago
Jurors in the trial of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have for the first time seen images of their baby, whose body was later found in a shed.
Ms Marten, 36, and Mr Gordon, 49, are accused of the manslaughter of Victoria. They deny the charges.
The parents travelled across England in taxis after a placenta was found in their burnt-out car last January.
In one taxi journey, Mr Gordon “slid down in his seat” as a police car came towards them, the Old Bailey heard.
Collette Franklin, who took them from Harwich to Colchester, told police in a statement: “I noticed at one point when a police car was coming towards us on the road that the male slid down in his seat.”
The couple came to police attention when their car caught fire on the M61 near Manchester on 5 January 2023.
The prosecution say the couple were trying to avoid the authorities because their previous four children had all been taken into care.
They argue the couple fled, travelling in taxis from Liverpool to Harwich, then onto Colchester and London.
The pair left most of their possessions behind and a placenta was found in the vehicle wrapped in a towel.
On 27 February, they were arrested in Brighton after being spotted without the baby – whose body was found in a disused shed on 1 March.
The jury on Tuesday watched CCTV clips of the couple in Colchester and in East Ham in London.
At one point, Mr Gordon is seen going into a shop called Special Connection, and Constance Marten can be seen outside the shop.
The jury has heard a lot about the baby, but until now had only seen her as a bump under Ms Marten’s coat.
Suddenly in the court room, the baby was in full view on the CCTV wearing a white baby grow as Ms Marten adjusted her under her padded burgundy coat.
Ms Marten could be seen bobbing Victoria up and down as if to calm her.
Later in a German Doner Kebab restaurant in East Ham, the baby girl can be seen moving her arms while Ms Marten assembles a buggy that Mark Gordon had just bought in Argos.
The couple then put the baby into the buggy in full view of the CCTV camera. The jury has heard that the couple dumped the buggy later that day. Mr Gordon sat in the dock and covered his face with his hand as the footage was shown in court.
His defence barrister, John Femi-Ola KC, spoke briefly to him and asked for a short break as his client was finding it “quite stressful”.
Ms Marten has not attended court for her trial. The East Ham CCTV pictures were recorded on Saturday 7 January 2023 – two days after the couple’s car caught fire.
The jury heard that from East Ham the couple headed to Whitechapel, where Mr Gordon bought a tent from another branch of Argos. They then headed to Haringey, north London, from where they took a taxi to Newhaven, Sussex.
They arrived there in the early hours of the morning of Sunday 9 January 2023.
Three days later, on 12 February, Ms Marten was recorded on CCTV at a Texaco petrol station.
But after that “the CCTV trail goes cold” until February 20, Joel Smith for the prosecution told the jury.
That was when the prosecution say the couple were recorded by CCTV cameras rummaging in bins near a golf course clubhouse in Brighton. They were arrested in the city on 27 February.
The jury heard from two witnesses who say they saw the couple in Brighton before that.
Paul Rogers, a dog walker, said he thought he saw them close to the Hollingbury Golf Course. He said he saw a black man and a white woman walking together pushing a buggy in a field.
“As I got closer to them, I noticed they looked a bit dishevelled, a bit dirty, possibly homeless people”, Mr Rodgers explained.
“The man was carrying plastic bags, a bag in each hand. The woman was pushing a buggy. It looked like a toddler’s buggy.”
But he said he did not see a baby. He said he thought the date was 16 or 17 February.
Tim Morris told the jury he was driving with his wife on Coldean Lane on 18 February when they saw a couple crossing the road in front of their car as they waited at some traffic lights.
Mr Morris explained: “I said to my partner ‘That looks like the couple that were in the news’, and she said ‘She’s definitely got something under that coat. It may be a little ‘un’.”
John Femi-Ola KC, for Mr Gordon, asked “Could you be mistaken?”
“Possibly yes,” Mr Morris replied.
Baby Victoria was found dead some eight weeks later in a Lidl “bag for life” in a shed in Brighton.
As well as manslaughter, the couple is 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.