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Explosions Near Old Bailey Lead to Evacuation of Constance Marten Trial

The trial of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon, accused of the manslaughter of their newborn baby daughter, was among dozens disrupted as explosions were heard near the Old Bailey, resulting in the evacuation of the courthouse.

Firefighters swiftly responded to reports of explosions and black acrid smoke emanating from a nearby building in central London. Approximately 1,500 individuals, including legal professionals and court attendees, were evacuated from the Central Criminal Court and its vicinity on Wednesday morning as the Old Bailey was enveloped in darkness. Dozens of barristers, donned in black gowns and wigs, were observed lining the streets outside the courthouse.

Amidst the evacuation, defendants, including Mark Gordon, were escorted out of a side exit and into a waiting prison van by uniformed City of London Police officers. Gordon was reportedly shielded from public view during the evacuation.

The London Fire Brigade, confirming the incident, stated that they had been summoned to the court shortly before 11 am following an incident involving an electrical substation. Fire crews are presently assessing multiple buildings on Warwick Lane, where the incident occurred.

Witnesses recounted the evacuation, noting flickering lights inside the Old Bailey before the evacuation commenced. Security officials barred barristers and court users from reentering the premises until safety checks had been conducted. Judge Mark Lucraft, the most senior judge at the Old Bailey, indicated that it was too early to determine when cases could resume following the evacuation.

Numerous trials, including that of Constance Marten, are believed to have been disrupted due to the incident. Marten and Gordon were arrested by police after living off-grid following the birth of their baby daughter, Victoria.

While there are no reported injuries, the cause of the explosions and subsequent fire remains under investigation by the London Fire Brigade. Firefighters are collaborating with UK Power Networks to ensure the scene’s safety and bring the fire under control.

Traffic in the vicinity is expected to be impacted as emergency responders continue their efforts.

The trial’s interruption underscores the significant disruption caused by the incident, affecting legal proceedings and court operations at the historic Old Bailey.

The situation is ongoing, with updates to follow as more information becomes available.

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