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Constance Marten warned of dangers of baby falling asleep on her chest

Constance Marten was twice warned of the dangers of allowing a baby to fall asleep on her chest, a court has heard.

She was also told that keeping a baby in a tent during winter was "wholly inappropriate".

Marten, 36, and her partner Mark Gordon, 49, deny charges including manslaughter following the death of their newborn daughter, Victoria.

They lived off grid on the South Downs in an attempt to keep Victoria after their four other children were taken into care, their trial at the Old Bailey has heard.

Days after they were arrested last February, Victoria was found dead inside a Lidl bag in an allotment shed in Brighton.

She had died while Marten was holding her under her jacket, Marten told police.

The infant had fallen asleep, she added.

Paediatrician Dr Gaurav Atreja was asked by prosecutor Tom Little KC about the risks to a baby placed inside a jacket with a parent sitting down.

"If mother goes to sleep she can bend over the baby and the baby can be smothered," Dr Atreja said.

The cause of Victoria's death is "unascertained" because of the condition of her body, the court was told.

The Old Bailey also heard a series of agreed facts about advice Marten was given regarding another baby, known as Child FF.

Marten was told that babies are "more delicate and vulnerable and their airways can easily become blocked when placed in certain positions, especially if they are sleeping on an adult's chest".

Care professionals added: "This increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental suffocation."

Marten was warned that positional asphyxia could be "extremely dangerous", the court was told.

The defendant apparently promised to follow the advice and not harm the baby.

She was also informed of the "crucial importance to place (Child FF) in the Moses basket for sleep, rather than allowing herself to doze off with the baby on her chest".

The same concerns were mentioned a second time, with a social worker writing: "Critical dangers of falling asleep with a baby on one's chest were firmly raised to Constance who once again stated she understood the risk and would take this on board."

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Earlier, there was concern when Marten arrived at a hospital six months pregnant, having not sought any NHS antenatal care.

She and Gordon had been living in a campervan, she said.

When Marten went into labour with Child FF, she and Gordon gave false names at a hospital, the Old Bailey heard.

She travelled to "avoid her family", she claimed, and spoke with a "fake Irish accent".

When their real identities were established, Marten told social workers they had been living in a campervan after being evicted from a flat.

Social services "had a number of concerns, including falsifying of names and that Ms Marten and Mr Gordon had been living in a tent", a care professional said.

A social worker who visited the tent said: "I explained to her that it was winter, the conditions were freezing and the cramped space would be wholly inappropriate for a baby to live in."

Marten accepted it was "challenging" but said she and Gordon had an "alternative lifestyle" and asked not to be judged for it.

Dr Atreja said that keeping a newborn baby in a tent in temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius "can be fatal".

The defendants, of no fixed address, deny manslaughter by gross negligence, perverting the course of justice, concealing the birth of a child, child cruelty and causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.