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Marten’s baby found dead in allotment shed
The body of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon’s baby was found with a pile of nappies in an allotment shed, a court heard yesterday. The baby girl named Victoria was believed to be dead “for some time”, detectives said. The couple appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court charged with manslaughter yesterday after the remains were found in the Hollingbury area of Brighton, East Sussex. Police made the discovery on Wednesday after a massive two-day search operation involving 200 officers. Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, who are also charged
with concealing the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice, spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth and that they were of no fixed abode during a short hearing in front of a packed courtroom.
Remanding Marten and Gordon into custody, chair of the bench of magistrates, Carol Lintott, said: “You are both here today ... on charges of manslaughter, concealment of the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice. We are sending the case to the crown court sitting at the Old Bailey.” Ms Marten and Mr Gordon are due to appear at the Old Bailey on 31 March.
Price of first class stamp now £1.10
Royal Mail has revealed it will increase the price of a first class stamp by 15p to £1.10p from 3 April. Meanwhile, it will also increase the price of a second class stamp by 7p to 75p. The company said that the increases are needed to ensure that the universal service, which means any letter delivery costs the same irrespective of the distance, “remains sustainable”.
Fox ‘tortured and set on fire’
Police are investigating reports that foxes have been caught, tortured and set on fire by a group of men in east London. The Metropolitan Police are looking into the incidents after being alerted by an animal rescue group that a fox had been set on fire in a wooded area near Kestrel Avenue and Linton Gardens in Beckton.
Scotland Yard said a member of the public made the call to the rescuers after they were woken up by sound of screaming at on Monday at 1am. At first they thought that the distressed sounds were coming from a human being but after looking closer saw a group of men pouring what is believed to be lighter fluid over a fox and setting it on fire with a lighter. Police said the badlyburnt fox managed to escape but the extent of its injuries, or if it survived, is not known.
Man who threatened to kill Sturgeon sentenced
A man who posted online about the assassination of Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and helped abduct a sheriff was jailed yesterday for more than five years. William Curtis, 70, was convicted last month of sending threatening messages to Ms Sturgeon and of sending or causing a threatening message to be sent to former MSP Stewart Stevenson in 2019 following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow. He and Philip Mitchell, 60, were also found guilty of assaulting and abducting Sheriff Robert McDonald in a car park in Banff, Aberdeenshire, in June 2021, when Mitchell claimed he was performing a “citizen’s arrest”.
Yesterday, Lord Weir said the pair were “entirely unrepentant” for their actions as he sentenced them, jailing Curtis for 18 months for sending threatening messages. He also jailed Curtis for a further four years and two months for the incident involving the sheriff, with the term to begin once the 18-month sentence has ended. Curtis and Mitchell had their sentences backdated to the point they entered custody. All of the offences occurred in Aberdeenshire.
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