Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon will appear in court today charged with manslaughter after the remains of a baby were found in woodland.
Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, are due at Crawley Magistrates’ Court accused of gross negligence manslaughter, concealing the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice.
It comes after a newborn’s body was found close to a public footpath in the Hollingbury area of Brighton, East Sussex, on Wednesday following a two-day search operation.
The infant is yet to be formally identified and a post-mortem examination is due to take place on Friday.
The couple, both of no fixed address, were arrested on Stanmer Villas in Brighton on Monday after police spent several weeks searching for them.
Meanwhile, hundreds gathered for a vigil at St Mary Magdalen Church in Coldean, East Sussex, close to where the baby’s remains were found.
Mourners held candles and lit a small fire outside the church to pay tribute. The event was attended by the Bishop of Lewes, Will Hazlewood.
The vicar leading the night watch, Reverend Betsy Gray-Hammond, said: ‘This has caused such a cloud of darkness in this area, and we feel we want to bring some light back into that darkness.’
She added: ‘We’re not here to judge and not here to make a judgement. We’re here to try and bring some peace and grace back into this area.’
The couple are in custody and will appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Barry Hughes, chief crown prosecutor for CPS London North, said: ‘The CPS has authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge Constance Marten and Mark Gordon with gross negligence manslaughter.
‘Constance Marten, aged 35, and Mark Gordon, aged 48, have also been charged with concealing the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice.
‘These charges arise from their arrest on Monday as a result of a lengthy police investigation to establish their whereabouts and that of their baby.
‘The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Constance Marten and Mark Gordon are active and that they have the right to a fair trial.’
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