Aristocrat Constance Marten in court as trial date set after baby found dead in woods

An aristocrat and her partner are facing trial early next year over the death of their baby daughter.

Constance Marten appeared in the Old Bailey on Friday with partner Mark Gordon, both charged with manslaughter of baby Victoria, concealment of the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice.

The child’s remains were discovered in a plastic bag in a locked shed at an overgrown allotment in the Hollingbury area of Brighton on 1 March, after a two-day search.

Marten, wearing a white and black patterned blouse and smart black trousers spoke only to confirm her name, while Gordon wearing a grey prison tracksuit also confirmed his name and address.

The judge confirmed their trial date for 2 January 2024 with the next hearing set for 18 August.

The case is expected to last between four and six weeks. There was no application made for bail and Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, were remanded into custody.

An initial post-mortem examination was unable to establish the cause of the child’s death and it is understood tests are ongoing.

The Metropolitan Police said it was “too early” to provide a specific date of death for Victoria, adding that the infant had been dead for “several weeks”.

Police arrested the couple in Brighton after a lengthy search for the family across the UK.

The case was referred to the police watchdog by the Metropolitan Police, and the Independent Office for Police Conduct said in a statement that it is “currently assessing the referral to determine what, if any, further action is required from us”.

Police searching in woodland area in Brighton, East Sussex, near to where the baby’s remains were found

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