UK - Constance Marten & Mark Gordon charged, Newborn (found deceased), Bolton Greater Manchester, 5 Jan 2023 #7

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3:08pm

Mr Femi-Ola is now reading transcripts from Mark Gordon's police interview.
He described Marten as a "very special woman, "an awesome woman" who not hurt her baby.
"She's an excellent mother," he said.
"We love that baby and for that to happen like that is sad."
He said he wanted to support his "wife" and that they had lost four children.

 
You know when this trial started I wondered it if it was going to boil down to 'if they had been found with the baby alive and well, would they have committed a crime? (As in would their actions still have met the threshold for serious neglect?)' and I kind of think it still does.

They were not 'wanted' while they were missing. The baby was not under any care order or removed from their custody. Whether or not this was services trying to manage risk to the baby, in the technical sense, they were full grown adults who were not obligated to turn themselves into the police. (Speculation on any patrol or SOR conditions on Gordon aside )

Home birth is not illegal, prenatal and post natal checkups are not mandatory, not registering a birth within 42 days is technically illegal but fairly minor.(Concealing a birth/death of a baby is illegal, but is a 2 year max sentence.)

Had they been a normal crunchy family who had a home birth, didn't get the baby checked at hospital and went on an ill-advised camping trip in the same conditions with the same supplies, (where the baby died of positional asphyxia) would they be prosecuted?

They have to prove that the parents care was neglectful enough to culminate in Victoria's death. Or that her story on how the baby died was a lie.

I think they have... struggled, to pull it all together. I don't know how things will go with the jury.

I probably should add that I absolutely think they should be banged up and baby Victoria not being alive today is 100% due to their infuriating entitled behaviour. However I can see real weaknesses in the prosecution case and it worries me.
 
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Just catching up with the remainder of Mr Femi-Ola's closing speech.
I know we don't get the full details, far from it, but the small amount that has been published, I find simply odd.
If I didn't know who he was defending, I would think he was CMs counsel. There has been hardly any mention of his own client and references to Victoria being CMs baby, not their baby.

Constance Marten didn’t want them to take her baby away from her.



He refers to the Prosecution description given for the two defendants ......

she and her partner Mark Gordon were described as callous and cruel.

But then chooses only to defend CM against this description.

“That woman you saw in the witness box over a number of days, ask yourself in all honesty, is callous the first image that comes into your mind?


And this part is surely just irrelevant

“The name Constance is rooted in Latin. Constania, it means steadfastness, resolute, faithful, loyal, dedicated and perseverance no matter the obstacle.”


The comment he hasn't made ( unless it was not reported ) is why his client chose not to give evidence.
And yes, I know it is MGs right not to testify, but it feels like the elephant in the room if Femi-Ola does not at least make reference to this decision.


All MOO of course
 
You know when this trial started I wondered it if it was going to boil down to 'if they had been found with the baby alive and well, would they have committed a crime? (As in would their actions still have met the threshold for serious neglect?)' and I kind of think it still does.

They were not 'wanted' while they were missing. The baby was not under any care order or removed from their custody. Whether or not this was services trying to manage risk to the baby, in the technical sense, they were full grown adults who were not obligated to turn themselves into the police. (Speculation on any patrol or SOR conditions on Gordon aside )

Home birth is not illegal, prenatal and post natal checkups are not mandatory, not registering a birth within 42 days is technically illegal but fairly minor.(Concealing a birth/death of a baby is illegal, but is a 2 year max sentence.)

Had they been a normal crunchy family who had a home birth, didn't get the baby checked at hospital and went on an ill-advised camping trip in the same conditions with the same supplies, (where the baby died of positional asphyxia) would they be prosecuted?

They have to prove that the parents care was neglectful enough to culminate in Victoria's death. Or that her story on how the baby died was a lie.

I think they have... struggled, to pull it all together. I don't know how things will go with the jury.

I probably should add that I absolutely think they should be banged up and baby Victoria not being alive today is 100% due to their infuriating entitled behaviour. However I can see real weaknesses in the prosecution case and it worries me.

But I think the only reason why the baby wasn't subject to a care order was because authorities didn't know about it, otherwise it would have been.

MOO but I suspect that everyone behind the scenes in this case has additional information which they aren't allowed to use as evidence, which is fuelling the actual prosecution, ie the trial, as well as the attitude of the prosecutor.

IMO they don't think what happened to the baby was accidental. But they know they can't prove it. Hypothermia is the best they can do.

A mother who accidentally smothers her baby doesn't talk about "burning the evidence" nor does she leave the baby in a dirty nappy and shove rubbish on top of it in a plastic bag.

Anyone who thinks CM is a lioness protecting her cubs is delusional IMO. The woman didn't even call 999 when her baby turned blue.
 

But I think the only reason why the baby wasn't subject to a care order was because authorities didn't know about it, otherwise it would have been.

MOO but I suspect that everyone behind the scenes in this case has additional information which they aren't allowed to use as evidence, which is fuelling the actual prosecution, ie the trial, as well as the attitude of the prosecutor.

IMO they don't think what happened to the baby was accidental. But they know they can't prove it. Hypothermia is the best they can do.

A mother who accidentally smothers her baby doesn't talk about "burning the evidence" nor does she leave the baby in a dirty nappy and shove rubbish on top of it in a plastic bag.

Anyone who thinks CM is a lioness protecting her cubs is delusional IMO. The woman didn't even call 999 when her baby turned blue.


This absolutely.

When you think of the information that has been sleuthed but which is - quite rightly - not posted in public, then for sure, the main players in this case must hold far more information than they are able to use in the trial.

It will be most interesting to see the post verdict media reports ( obv only if guilty verdicts are reached ).
I expect the media have them written already.
 
Curious to know what might happen if MG ditched CM and impregnated another woman, would that baby lkely be taken by social services too? speculation, imo.
That's a question that would be impossible to answer without knowing the full history of DV incidents that are on police/medical records, the full social services records and the transcripts of their family court proceedings.
 
pu
You know when this trial started I wondered it if it was going to boil down to 'if they had been found with the baby alive and well, would they have committed a crime? (As in would their actions still have met the threshold for serious neglect?)' and I kind of think it still does.

They were not 'wanted' while they were missing. The baby was not under any care order or removed from their custody. Whether or not this was services trying to manage risk to the baby, in the technical sense, they were full grown adults who were not obligated to turn themselves into the police. (Speculation on any patrol or SOR conditions on Gordon aside )

Home birth is not illegal, prenatal and post natal checkups are not mandatory, not registering a birth within 42 days is technically illegal but fairly minor.(Concealing a birth/death of a baby is illegal, but is a 2 year max sentence.)

Had they been a normal crunchy family who had a home birth, didn't get the baby checked at hospital and went on an ill-advised camping trip in the same conditions with the same supplies, (where the baby died of positional asphyxia) would they be prosecuted?

They have to prove that the parents care was neglectful enough to culminate in Victoria's death. Or that her story on how the baby died was a lie.

I think they have... struggled, to pull it all together. I don't know how things will go with the jury.

I probably should add that I absolutely think they should be banged up and baby Victoria not being alive today is 100% due to their infuriating entitled behaviour. However I can see real weaknesses in the prosecution case and it worries me.
put bluntly, if they had been found and V alive, they would have been charged with neglect and the circumstances used to withdraw V from their care.
 

Marten accused of ‘fantastical’ claims about ‘Mission Impossible style’ private investigators​

Lead prosecutor Mark Little ** says Marten’s claims that she and Gordon were being trailed by private investigators – including fears they had tampered with their car – were “fantastical”.

“The idea that in 2022 and 2023 there was some Mission Impossible style private investigators coming out of the sky from nowhere to detonate vehicles. It’s fantastical. It’s mythical. It didn’t happen,” he told the court.
“Because we know from agreed facts that there were no private investigators in 2022 or 2023.”

The court previously heard that Marten’s mother had instructed investigators for two weeks in 2016.
Meanwhile her father told police he had hired investigators to find her in 2017 and 2021.
However both deny any private investigator was instructed to find her in 2022 or in 2023 – when the couple was on the run.







** aka Tom Little
"Because we know from agreed facts that there were no private investigators in 2022 or 2023."

Press reports have said only that her parents both denied instructing any private investigators to find her in 2022-23.
 
You know when this trial started I wondered it if it was going to boil down to 'if they had been found with the baby alive and well, would they have committed a crime? (As in would their actions still have met the threshold for serious neglect?)' and I kind of think it still does.

They were not 'wanted' while they were missing. The baby was not under any care order or removed from their custody. Whether or not this was services trying to manage risk to the baby, in the technical sense, they were full grown adults who were not obligated to turn themselves into the police. (Speculation on any patrol or SOR conditions on Gordon aside )

Home birth is not illegal, prenatal and post natal checkups are not mandatory, not registering a birth within 42 days is technically illegal but fairly minor.(Concealing a birth/death of a baby is illegal, but is a 2 year max sentence.)

Had they been a normal crunchy family who had a home birth, didn't get the baby checked at hospital and went on an ill-advised camping trip in the same conditions with the same supplies, (where the baby died of positional asphyxia) would they be prosecuted?

They have to prove that the parents care was neglectful enough to culminate in Victoria's death. Or that her story on how the baby died was a lie.

I think they have... struggled, to pull it all together. I don't know how things will go with the jury.

I probably should add that I absolutely think they should be banged up and baby Victoria not being alive today is 100% due to their infuriating entitled behaviour. However I can see real weaknesses in the prosecution case and it worries me.
Interesting hypothetical introduced … the normal crunchy couple (home birth, no ante natal, no registration) and the ill-advised camping trip with a newborn in winter… resulting in deceased baby from positional asphyxia.
The decision to go camping, in the winter, with inadequate shelter and clothing is so highly suspicious that I don’t think they would be viewed as “normal crunchy” making a simple ill-advised trip.
Add to that - no medical care, home birth & no registration (& no family or friends advised or support). It’s just not normal, for CM&MG or anyone.
 

Baby Victoria was carried in a Lidl bag when she was still alive - prosecution​

Mr Little urges the jury not to “fall” for the defendant’s claims that they never carried the infant in a shopping bag.
He reminded the jury of two CCTV clips in which the prosecution claims Victoria must have been concealed in the bag.
This includes the moment the couple arrived in Newhaven on 8 January last year when they were captured carrying bags.

“We suggest that the baby is in the bag for life, covered just as it had been earlier,” he told the court.
Victoria’s decomposed remains were eventually found in the shopping bag by police in a disused shed.

In China there is technology in current use that can identify people from their gaits and images even when they are wearing face masks. A newborn baby weighs a fair few pounds. There is footage of MG walking when he is not carrying her. I find it hard to believe that it would be difficult to establish whether or not she was under his jacket when they said she was. The idea that she was in a bag when she was alive appears (JMO) to be little short of fantasy. I can't see the jury buying the prosecution line that she "must" have been concealed in the bag when alive.
 
I'm wondering if Femiola is making out MG was dominated by CM and just went along with her actions. This is trying to shift the blame totally onto CM and lesson the impact of possible sentencing for his client (MG)?
His implication may be "Should you decide CM is guilty, that does NOT automatically mean you should decide my client is guilty."
 
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