Constance Marten and rapist partner spotted at food bank without baby days before arrest and ‘didn’t pick up nappies' | The Sun
RUNAWAY aristocrat Constance Marten and her rapist lover used a foodbank days before their arrest – but did not ask for nappies which were available.
Volunteers at the site screamed in horror after realising they had given goods to Marten and her partner Mark Gordon last week.
They only realised it was them when they saw news of their arrest for child negligence just one mile away in Brighton, East Sussex, on Monday night.
Last Wednesday, the couple had visited Brighton Food Bank where they got pasta, rice, bread and milk – but no supplies for a tot, such as nappies, which were available.
The baby was also not with them.
The worker said: “They were given tinned food, bread, pasta, milk and rice.
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“They were not registered with us, which is how we usually operate.
“The baby was not with them. We have supplies here but they didn’t ask for anything for a baby.
“But they came asking for help for themselves. She did the talking and the man looked shifty at the back with his hood up.
“She asked for help. She was wearing a lot of layers and looking back, she looked like she’d been outside for a while.
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“He looked shifty. He was checking the area.
“He stood back and would not make eye contact.
“She did the talking. We didn’t take any details, we just gave them food because we thought they needed help.
“He was wearing a baseball cap. It was very shifty.”
She said she had no idea they were on the run when she came across them.
She added: “I didn’t know about the couple. When I saw their pictures on the news when they had been arrested I thought 'oh, we gave them some food last week'.
“We have a set amount that we give. We are not providing people with every single meal in a single day.
“It was a very, very quick thing that was done. They asked for some food and we gave them the food and they left."
'DIDN'T BUY ANYTHING FOR A BABY'
The couple were arrested at 9.30pm on Monday and were further arrested for gross negligence manslaughter on Tuesday, with fears growing over their baby's safety.
The couple refuse to say where the child is or even disclose the baby's gender.
Police now say there is a "possibility the baby has come to harm" during their seven weeks on the run.
Minutes before they were nicked, they visited a nearby Mulberrys convenience store, with Gordon buying £20-worth of food including crisps, sandwiches and orange juice using cash – but again got no baby supplies.
An employee said: "He was shifty, she stood outside the whole time.
"He came in here for supplies but didn't buy anything for a baby – no nappies or food or anything like that."
We can also reveal the couple may have been sleeping rough for at least ten days before their arrest.
A local said he believes he may have seen Marten looking “scruffy” near a pre-school on February 18, close to where they were nicked.
The man, who asked not to be named, reckons it could have been Marten who he walked past near Hollingbury Park Pre-School, a short walk from where they were nicked.
He told The Sun: “She was wrapped up in a coat, possibly had a scarf on, and I think her hair was brown. She was slightly underdressed for the weather too.
“She looked scruffy. I didn’t really pay that much attention because I didn’t think much of it at the time.
“I was with my baby and I smiled at the woman but she didn’t smile back.
“I remember thinking it was weird she didn’t smile, and she looked at my baby in a strange way.
“I think it could’ve been her but I couldn’t say for sure.”
Lee Wright, 29, told The Times that he saw a man matching Gordon's description walking alone with a suitcase towards the Roedale Valley Allotments – where cops have been searching – on Monday.
He has since reported it to police.
The specific charge of gross negligence manslaughter gives police the power to detain the couple for a longer period of time while they are questioned.
Over 200 officers were scouring a 91-square-mile area across East Sussex on Wednesday – with a focus on the Stanmer Villas and the allotments in Brighton.
An entry on the allotments society Facebook page said officers had forced entry to outbuildings.
Police said they have searched every shed on the veg plot and will remain on site for some time.
Groups of officers from the Metropolitan Police and London Search and Rescue conducted sweeps of nearby Moulsecoomb Wild Park on Wednesday.
They were seen looking under bushes and behind trees for the two-month-old.
Marten and Gordon left their home in Eltham, South East London, sometime in September 2022, and began a nomadic lifestyle.
Before they vanished, it is thought Marten withdrew £15,000 of cash from an ATM.
The couple's car was found on fire on January 5 on the M61 near Bolton, Lancashire – it is thought Constance gave birth in the vehicle or near it in the days surrounding the incident.
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They were then spotted on CCTV at various locations across Liverpool, London, Essex and East Sussex.
Following the pair's disappearance, police told how the aristocrat became estranged from her family after meeting Gordon when she was a drama student in 2016.
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