Jury in manslaughter trial of aristocrat Constance Marten and partner Mark Gordon discharged

A jury has failed to reach verdicts in the trial of aristocrat Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon.

Marten, 37, and her partner Gordon, 50, have been on trial accused of manslaughter after their newborn daughter Victoria died while they were camping on the South Downs in wintry conditions.

The parents were charged after the baby was found dead in an allotment shed in Brighton, East Sussex, last March, following a high-profile police search for the couple and their child.

The parents denied charges of gross negligence manslaughter of Victoria between 4 January and 27 February last year, and of causing or allowing the death of a child.

They also denied charges of perverting the course of justice by concealing her body, concealing the birth of a child, and child cruelty.

A jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for 72 hours and 33 minutes but was unable to reach verdicts.

The judge, Mark Lucraft KC, discharged the jury on Wednesday, almost six months after the trial began.

The prosecution will now have to consider whether to seek a retrial.

Mr Lucraft said he would be writing to each of the jurors to thank them, and that they would be excused from jury service for the rest of their lives.

He said they had shown “truly exceptional examples of dedication to public service” since the trial started in January.

Marten, wearing a blue blouse and dark trousers, was separated by a dock officer from Gordon, who was dressed in a blue shirt and navy tie as the jury was discharged.