Both Constance Marten, an aristocrat, and her companion, Mark Gordon, a businessman, have denied manslaughter accusations linked to their daughter Victoria at a hearing held at the Old Bailey.
The London natives were charged with five offenses involving their daughter Victoria between January 4 and February 27 and pled not guilty. They are also accused of child maltreatment, allowing her to die, and concealing the birth of a child, all of which constitute perverting the course of justice.
Marten, now 36 years old, was brought before Judge Mark Lucraft KC, who informed the defendants of their right to remain silent. On January 2, 2019, a trial will begin, with a further pretrial hearing scheduled for December 8. From January 4 through February 27, the dates of the alleged crimes, they occurred.
After weeks of searching for the family, police located the child’s remains in a garbage bag inside a locked building in an empty lot with an overgrowth of grass on March 1 in the Hollingbury neighborhood of Brighton. After the first postmortem assessment, the cause of death was still unknown. The couple was ordered to remain in police custody until their subsequent case management hearing on December 8. The trial is tentatively set to begin on January 2 of next year.
East Sussex woods were searched by hundreds of police earlier this year using sniffer dogs, drones, and thermal imaging cameras. Victoria’s body was discovered at an allotment site in the Hollingbury neighborhood of Brighton, close to where Marten and Gordon were apprehended after their investigation led them to Victoria’s murder.
Manslaughter charges against Constance Marten and Mark Gordon for their infant daughter Victoria have been dismissed, they say because neither committed any “unlawful conduct” or failed to take measures that would have been expected to have prevented Victoria’s death.
Their trial date is January 2, and another preliminary hearing is slated for December 8.