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Home » Constance Marten: Taxi Driver Recalls ‘uneasy Feeling’ About Couple

Constance Marten: Taxi Driver Recalls ‘uneasy Feeling’ About Couple

Image source, PA Media

By Daniel Sandford & Harrison Jones

BBC News

A London taxi driver has told a court he had “an uneasy feeling” about Constance Marten and Mark Gordon while giving them a lift in the middle of the night.

The couple are on trial for the manslaughter by gross negligence of their newborn baby girl, Victoria.

They both deny the charges.

In a statement to the jury, Abdirisakh Mohamud said the encounter he had after picking the trio up in his taxi made him “suspicious”.

The parents travelled across England in taxis following the discovery of a placenta in their burnt-out car last year. They came to police attention following the car fire on the M61 near Manchester on 5 January 2023.

Weeks later, on 27 February, they were arrested in Brighton having been spotted without Victoria – whose body was found in Lidl “bag for life” in a disused shed on 1 March.

For the first time since the trial started last Thursday, Ms Marten, 36, appeared in the dock beside Mr Gordon, 49, at the Old Bailey.

Driver Mr Mohamud explained how, after picking up the trio in Whitechapel during the early hours of Sunday 8 January 2023, “the man asked me: ‘Are you Muslim?’, I said yes.

“He asked: ‘Do you believe in the Koran?’ I said yes.”

Mr Mohamud told the court that the man then asked if he was trustworthy, and if there was a camera in the car.

“I said yes, despite the fact that there wasn’t [a camera].”

He explained that the man went on to ask if their conversation would be shared with anyone – to which Mr Mohamud replied “no”, but noted it “added to my fear that something was not right”.

The driver said he decided he was not happy to continue the journey and “had an uneasy feeling with this couple”.

At the Old Bailey on Wednesday, Ms Marten – wearing a white blouse with pink flowers on it – could be seen exchanging a few words with Mr Gordon. The couple were sat with a dock officer between them.

Mr Mohamud told the court that instead of taking the couple and their baby to Tesco in Enfield, he dropped them off early on Green Lanes in Haringey, north London.

Jurors heard how he was so worried he stopped and spoke to some police officers about the pair.

“The more I thought about it the more I felt concerned about the baby,” he continued.

Having been dropped off in Haringey, the prosecution say the couple then ordered a minicab to Portsmouth.

The prosecution allege the couple were trying to avoid the authorities because their previous four children had all been taken into care.

They say the couple fled, travelling in taxis from Liverpool to Harwich, then onto Colchester and London.

Media caption, Jury sees Constance Marten’s baby for first time in court video

In a statement read to the jury, the driver of the new taxi, Hasan Guzel, described picking the couple up near an alleyway in Haringey. First Ms Marten got in, then Mr Gordon appeared with their bags.

Mr Guzel told them the price was £475. Mark Gordon tried to haggle, and then gave him the cash, though it was short by £5.

During the journey, the driver said he heard Ms Marten’s phone ping, and then he was asked to change the destination to Newhaven, East Sussex. He dropped them off near Newhaven Town Station just before 05:00 GMT.

“When I dropped them off it was cold, windy and dark. I was concerned as to what they were going to do next,” Mr Guzel told the jury.

Baby Victoria was found dead some eight weeks later in a shed in Brighton.

As well as manslaughter, the couple are also accused of four other offences – cruelty to their baby; concealment of the baby’s birth; causing or allowing her death; and perverting the course of justice by concealing the body.