UK - Constance Marten & Mark Gordon charged, Newborn (found deceased), Bolton Greater Manchester, 5 Jan 2023 #6

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For some reason, and I can't find the source right now, but I will add it later if I can, I read it as the falling asleep advice had been given while CM was on a foster placement with the baby, and I at least inferred that it was specifically in reaction to something they had witnessed her doing which they perceived to be unsafe.
Pretty comprehensive timeline here of interaction with social services by @rightsaidfred , complete with sources:

 
For some reason, and I can't find the source right now, but I will add it later if I can, I read it as the falling asleep advice had been given while CM was on a foster placement with the baby, and I at least inferred that it was specifically in reaction to something they had witnessed her doing which they perceived to be unsafe.

The baby born in Wales in winter 2017, referred to in court as FF, was initially made the subject of an interim care order and Ms Marten lived with the baby in temporary mother and baby accommodation.

On two occasions social workers spoke to her about the risk of falling asleep with the baby on her chest.




Ms Marten expressed her commitment not to cause FF any harm, and promised to stick to the advice.

The jury was told that an order was made which allowed for FF to be cared for by the couple under social services supervision. This order was discharged in 2018.



 
Reading the statements I'm thinking the mums on this thread have the wrong take on this.(I also co-slept with my kids).

You have to start with the fact they have history of living in a festival tent (small popup unsuitable type), in winter. This is not what most of us would call boho, alternative living, but the stark, smelly, utterly down-and-out reality of homelessness - which is how SS appear to have treated it.

I believe she was sleeping with baby FF "on" (strapped to,in a coat) her chest, seated and upright. This is NOT stated explicitly. "We" are all thinking of "proper" co-sleeping, where you are in a warm house with no blankets, laying flat etc.

ALL very much MOO
I am not arguing your point; I agree with what you are saying.
I had a realization that many, many, many women live in tents with babies in freezing weather.
In refugee camps, and not just in the Middle East but in France and the U.S., babies have died.
I know the glaringly obvious difference here is that refugees do not choose to live that way, but then could it be argued that CM and MG thought they did not choose to live that way and had to because they were trying to hide?
Just some musings, ramblings from my spaghetti junction mind
 
I am not arguing your point; I agree with what you are saying.
I had a realization that many, many, many women live in tents with babies in freezing weather.
In refugee camps, and not just in the Middle East but in France and the U.S., babies have died.
I know the glaringly obvious difference here is that refugees do not choose to live that way, but then could it be argued that CM and MG thought they did not choose to live that way and had to because they were trying to hide?
Just some musings, ramblings from my spaghetti junction mind
They were already living that way when they had baby number one, FF.

MOO
 
They were already living that way when they had baby number one, FF.

MOO
Did it cause any harm to FF, or put <modsnip> at great risk? I know a social worker is said to have recorded that it was a "festival" type of tent and it bowed a bit under the rain. The first statement suggests the questions "What types of tent are suitable, inadvisable but OK, or so bad that they are grounds for taking children away?", "What is a festival type of tent?", and "What is the social worker's knowledge of tents and tent types?"

As for bowing a bit under the rain, is there a type of tent that doesn't do that?

<modsnip - no link to photo>
 
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Did it cause any harm to FF, or put <modsnip> at great risk? I know a social worker is said to have recorded that it was a "festival" type of tent and it bowed a bit under the rain. The first statement suggests the questions "What types of tent are suitable, inadvisable but OK, or so bad that they are grounds for taking children away?", "What is a festival type of tent?", and "What is the social worker's knowledge of tents and tent types?"

As for bowing a bit under the rain, is there a type of tent that doesn't do that?

<modsnip - no link to photo>
All of the answers I think you want are here. These are agreed facts, not being disputed by CM or MG.

 
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For some reason, and I can't find the source right now, but I will add it later if I can, I read it as the falling asleep advice had been given while CM was on a foster placement with the baby, and I at least inferred that it was specifically in reaction to something they had witnessed her doing which they perceived to be unsafe.

ETA: @Alyce has provided the source below, thank you so much!
You are right.

This is the main reason I tend to suspect this was not in fact the cause of Baby V's death: because it was a cause of death generally accepted to be accidental that had already been brought explicitly to CM's attention, and probably therefore presented itself as a plausible and good-enough defence when under the cosh of a manslaughter charge.

But it's pure speculation/moo, and we'll probably never know.
 
Did it cause any harm to FF, or put <modsnip> at great risk? I know a social worker is said to have recorded that it was a "festival" type of tent and it bowed a bit under the rain. The first statement suggests the questions "What types of tent are suitable, inadvisable but OK, or so bad that they are grounds for taking children away?", "What is a festival type of tent?", and "What is the social worker's knowledge of tents and tent types?"

As for bowing a bit under the rain, is there a type of tent that doesn't do that?

<modsnip - no link to photo>
I don't think that the social worker(s) needed to have a knowledge of tents when they were there to assess the risks to the baby FF.
The tent was assessed as wholly inappropriate for a baby to live in and it was winter and freezing, and the parents were told that.
And yes, I think it probably did put baby FF at great risk and ditto baby Victoria in similar circumstances a few years later.
SS assessed the circumstances and the tent without need of a list of suitable or unsuitable tents.
 
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You are right.

This is the main reason I tend to suspect this was not in fact the cause of Baby V's death: because it was a cause of death generally accepted to be accidental that had already been brought explicitly to CM's attention, and probably therefore presented itself as a plausible and good-enough defence when under the cosh of a manslaughter charge.

But it's pure speculation/moo, and we'll probably never know.
I agree. Dying whilst being held in her mother's jacket sounds better than being found frozen in the bottom of a plastic carrier bag being used as a makeshift cot.
 
Color me foolish, but why does anyone believe the defendant's story?

Debating and defending an untruth IMO.

They discarded Victoria in a plastic bag and heaped trash upon her.

Baby died of abject neglect.

I put more stock in dehydration, starvation and hypothermia.

She died because they didn't care.

JMO
 
Reading the statements I'm thinking the mums on this thread have the wrong take on this.(I also co-slept with my kids).

You have to start with the fact they have history of living in a festival tent (small popup unsuitable type), in winter. This is not what most of us would call boho, alternative living, but the stark, smelly, utterly down-and-out reality of homelessness - which is how SS appear to have treated it.

I believe she was sleeping with baby FF "on" (strapped to,in a coat) her chest, seated and upright. This is NOT stated explicitly. "We" are all thinking of "proper" co-sleeping, where you are in a warm house with no blankets, laying flat etc.

ALL very much MOO
In case my post was confusing above, that was what I meant. It was CM’s choice to breastfeed sitting up and therefore she is IMO liable.

She could have breastfed lying down, but didnt.

I was just pointing out normal co-sleeping can be a lifesaver, but shouldn’t be done in the way CM did it - especially not after warnings.

If I was on the jury I would see very clear signs of neglect from multiple angles - the historic similarities, the lack of clothes, the lack of safe space to grow, the chaotic environment that left little time for nurture or emotional needs. As a fellow mum and human I feel for her losing a baby, but as a fellow mum I was shocked at the cafe footage where she picked Victoria up and put her in the buggy. I’m also horrified at the idea of Victoria in a bag for life. There’s a really visceral need to ensure your baby’s safety often and the lack of these basic things from CM are pointers that something isn’t quite right. Even a mum who doesn’t ‘feel that instant connection’ early on with their baby (totally normal) still wants to handle them with care and ensure their basic needs are met. CM, from what we’ve seen and heard so far, simply did not seem to grasp that.

I also don’t think she’s on medicine as it should have been noted - even then, the recommendation from all agencies would be to avoid co-sleeping (as it is if you’ve had alcohol).
 
Color me foolish, but why does anyone believe the defendant's story?

Debating and defending an untruth IMO.

They discarded Victoria in a plastic bag and heaped trash upon her.

Baby died of abject neglect.

I put more stock in dehydration, starvation and hypothermia.

She died because they didn't care.

JMO

I fluctuate between believing that's what happened, (because if it it what happened I still think they are to blame) and believing it was something even worse that they are covering up.

For me the following questions remain unanswered:

1. Why are they pretending they can't remember *where* it happened?

2. Why didn't they call 999?

3. Why were they so keen to hide the body?

JMO.
 

Link to The Trial: Episode 10 which has just landed.
 
How many more days' evidence are the prosecution intending to bring?

This is such a remarkable case. The prosecution brought a doctor of meteorology to court to say it was quite parky in January and February, but the defence - at least going by the write-up in the Argus - appears not have required the social worker who opined about tent typology to come and deliver her testimony in person. I would have thought the question of whether CM and MG were reasonable to consider that they were gravely wronged by the SS is highly relevant to the question of whether it was reasonable for them to have acted in the known ways that they acted.

With the Irish Traveller accent and hospital uncovering story, I wonder whether CM thought that giving birth to her child might be problematic on that occasion, and that's why she chose to give birth in hospital? Because unless she did, her actions seem IMO to be compatible with having a preference for giving birth under medical attention if feasible, rather than being a moonworshipping skychild who prefers everything in her life to be off-grid.

Another question: are the three harm charges meant to be alternatives?
 
Color me foolish, but why does anyone believe the defendant's story?

Debating and defending an untruth IMO.

They discarded Victoria in a plastic bag and heaped trash upon her.

Baby died of abject neglect.

I put more stock in dehydration, starvation and hypothermia.

She died because they didn't care.

JMO
Absolutely 100%
 
How many more days' evidence are the prosecution intending to bring?

This is such a remarkable case. The prosecution brought a doctor of meteorology to court to say it was quite parky in January and February, but the defence - at least going by the write-up in the Argus - appears not have required the social worker who opined about tent typology to come and deliver her testimony in person. I would have thought the question of whether CM and MG were reasonable to consider that they were gravely wronged by the SS is highly relevant to the question of whether it was reasonable for them to have acted in the known ways that they acted.

With the Irish Traveller accent and hospital uncovering story, I wonder whether CM thought that giving birth to her child might be problematic on that occasion, and that's why she chose to give birth in hospital? Because unless she did, her actions seem IMO to be compatible with having a preference for giving birth under medical attention if feasible, rather than being a moonworshipping skychild who prefers everything in her life to be off-grid.

Another question: are the three harm charges meant to be alternatives?
I'm unclear if the first birth actually happened in hospital, but if so, maybe after the first time she thought she wouldn't need/didn't want assistance again
 
- late 2017 - CM goes to a hospital in Wales in early labour, fake Irish accent, claims to be a traveller called Isabella O'Brien, and living in a campervan nearby. She says she lives in Leeds but is avoiding her family. MG pretends to be a friend, Mr Aymer, borrowing a surname from CM's sister-in-law.
- May 2021 - CM pregnant again with baby II, refuses entry to a social worker, SS arrange a scan, CM disappears and claims she's having private healthcare. Date of birth unclear, but she later leaves hospital without II, despite having been told that if she does that the baby will be recorded as abandoned. The next day she returns to the hospital but is upset to be refused entry because she wouldn't take a covid test. She tells SS that she and MG are 'naturalists' who disagree with any medical intervention.

Baby FF. and II were both hospital births. Unclear whether GG & HH were "home" birth or hospital and also unclear if they were twins. With the timeline she would have to be immediately pregnant after having a baby each time if they are not twins.

(FF is the pseudonym of the 1st child as referred to in court, followed by 2nd child GG, 3rd child HH and 4th child II. Then Victoria was #5)
 
I'm unclear if the first birth actually happened in hospital, but if so, maybe after the first time she thought she wouldn't need/didn't want assistance again

MG wasn't averse to a bit of medical attention when he was being interviewed by the police was he?

Just the baby that didn't need help :(
 
Baby FF. and II were both hospital births. Unclear whether GG & HH were "home" birth or hospital and also unclear if they were twins. With the timeline she would have to be immediately pregnant after having a baby each time if they are not twins.

(FF is the pseudonym of the 1st child as referred to in court, followed by 2nd child GG, 3rd child HH and 4th child II. Then Victoria was #5)


If you listen to the latest podcast it will answer your questions - linked by GreekGal in post 293 above.
 
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