A mother who gave birth while on the run claimed the baby died when she "fell asleep on top of her".

Constance Marten said it happened when she was sleeping in a tent.

The baby’s father, Mark Gordon, told police the ordeal was the “most harrowing thing to see my child like that”.

The Argus: A court sketch of Mark GordonA court sketch of Mark Gordon (Image: Elizabeth Cook/PA)

The couple face trial for gross negligence manslaughter after the body of their newborn daughter, Victoria, was found in a supermarket bag for life in a disused shed in Brighton last year.

On the first day of proceedings at the Old Bailey yesterday, Tom Little KC, prosecuting, read a transcript of comments made by Marten and Gordon in separate police interviews.

Read more: Baby 'spent life in Lidl bag', Constance Marten and Mark Gordon trial hears

Marten, 36, said of her daughter’s death: "I had her in my jacket and I hadn’t slept properly in quite a few days.

“I fell asleep holding her sitting up and she, when I woke up she wasn’t alive.

"When I woke she wasn’t alive, in my jacket. I believe I fell asleep on top of her."

The baby is believed to have been born on Christmas Eve 2022 in Cumbria. The couple then embarked on a two-month long journey south before being arrested on February 27, 2023, in Golf Drive, Brighton.

They were believed to have been sleeping in a blue tent in Newhaven, Stanmer Park and near Hollingbury Golf Course, having previously visited Bolton, Liverpool, Colchester and London.

The Argus: Constance Marten and Mark GordonConstance Marten and Mark Gordon (Image: The Metropolitan Police)

A car used by the couple was found by the side of the motorway in flames. Police found nappies, newborn clothing and a placenta in and around the burned wreckage.

Reading from transcripts of police interviews after their arrest, Mr Little told the jury that Gordon said: "Things went really down really quickly after the car blew up.”

Gordon also described trying to resuscitate his daughter after waking to find her unresponsive, adding: “It’s the most harrowing thing to see my child like that.

"My first instinct was can I bring this baby back to life."

The pair are also accused of perverting the course of justice, concealing the birth of a child, child cruelty and causing or allowing the death of a child. They deny all charges.

Gordon, 49, wearing a blue shirt and dark blue tie, appeared at the Old Bailey in London yesterday. Marten did not appear at the hearing.

The trial continues and is expected to conclude in early March.