Constance Marten says Mark Gordon told her to say baby died of cot deathon February 19, 2024 at 4:08 pm

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She also told detectives she debated handing herself in two weeks after their baby died.

Constance Marten and Mark GordonImage source, GMP

Mark Gordon told Constance Marten to say their baby Victoria died of cot death, the Old Bailey has heard.

On Monday jurors were played more of a police interview carried out with her on 1 March, hours after the baby’s body was found in a shed in Brighton.

In that interview she told officers that she debated handing herself in to police two weeks after their baby died.

The couple are accused of her manslaughter by gross negligence. They both deny the charge.

Ms Marten also said she told Mr Gordon to say he was not present when Victoria died because she wanted to protect him “because obviously he’s my husband”.

She went on to tell detectives that Mr Gordon told her to say their baby’s death was a cot death.

She said: “Mark advised me to say that it was cot death… and that I wasn’t holding her.

“He advised me to say that I lay her down and then when we woke up she was on her front and she’d passed away.”

The NHS says cot death – or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) – is the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby.

During Ms Marten’s interview, she told police that what Mr Gordon had advised her to say about the child’s death was not what happened and that Mr Gordon might try to tell them it was “in order to protect” her and her “interests”.

She said she had been “extremely tired” and had fallen asleep while she was in a tent hugging her baby – who was in her jacket.

“She wasn’t moving when I woke up,” she recalled.

During the police interview Ms Marten wept while describing the moment she realised their baby was not breathing.

She told officers the pair tried to resuscitate baby Victoria: “I tried to breathe in her mouth and pump her chest.”

She said there was no response: “So I wrapped her in a scarf and cradled her for a few minutes. I didn’t know what to do.”

Asked by a detective whether they went to get help, Ms Marten replied: “No because she was definitely not alive.

“I mean she wasn’t alive, so who’s going to help?”

When asked how Mr Gordon felt after their baby had died, Ms Marten said: “Well, I’m not him so I can’t tell you how he was feeling”.

The detective then asked: “Well, what did he say to you?”

She replied: “Well, he was distraught of course”.

“Tell me about that,” asked the detective.

Ms Marten replied: “You’ll have to ask him, I mean, that’s his remit, isn’t it?”

She told detectives the couple were “very distraught” and “a bit traumatised by the whole thing”.

During the interview Ms Marten recalled seeing a copy of the Metro newspaper while they were waiting for a bus in Brighton some days afterwards.

“It just said, I think it was my father coming forward saying we really need to come forward with the baby”.

Detectives also asked her how she was feeling following the birth of their daughter.

“I was feeling fine. I was elated to be with her actually. To be with one of my children. With Mark, together and parenting.

“It was a really nice Christmas period. I was very happy actually. Until all the media attention. That’s my experience”.

As well as manslaughter, Ms Marten and Mr Gordon 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.

They deny all charges.

The trial continues.

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