Ex-neighbour claims Mark Gordon broke into his Florida home

EXCLUSIVE Ex-neighbour reveals terrifying ordeal at hands of sex offender on the run with aristocrat’s daughter and their baby after he broke into his Florida home in the 1980s and battered him with a shovel as he defended his wife

  • Mark Gordon missing in the UK for nearly two weeks with Constance Marten
  • Today, former US neighbour Patrick Nash claimed he once broke into his home
  • ‘Startled’ to find Mr Nash inside the room, Gordon beat father of one with spade

A former Florida neighbor of a sex offender who has vanished with his aristocrat’s daughter partner and their newborn baby has told how he broke into his home in the late 1980s and battered him with a shovel. 

Mark Gordon, a 48-year-old British man, has been missing in the UK for nearly two weeks with Constance Marten, 35, the daughter of Napier Marten, a former page to the late Queen. 

Today, his old neighbour Patrick Nash recalled how the criminal broke into his home when he was 15. The then teenager, who had armed himself with a spade, removed a kitchen window panel before creeping into the bedroom where the retail manager and his wife were sleeping. 

‘Startled’ to find Mr Nash inside the room, Gordon beat the father of one over the head and body before fleeing the family home in Hollywood, north of Miami, empty-handed – according to a police complaint.

Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon have been missing since January 5 after their car broke down and caught fire on the M61. The pair were seen leaving the motorway on foot with their newborn 

A mugshot from 2010 of Gordon published by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Recalling the brutal attack at around 7am on April 21, 1989, Mr Nash told DailyMail.com: ‘I wasn’t supposed to be home in the morning when this happened, I was supposed to leave before dawn.

‘My wife wakes up and screams. I start to get up and I’m hit in the head with a shovel. I miraculously was able to chase him out of the house. It was just reflex. I always sleep in the position closest to the door.

‘He had taken cutlery and placed it around the house so he would have access to weapons. My son was an infant at the time and he was in the room next to us.

‘Had I not been there, my wife would have been raped. That’s my conviction and that was the police’s theory.

‘There was no other reason for him to come in and place knives around the house and go into the master bedroom while people are sleeping.

So why did aristocrat new mum vanish with her baby and lover?

 

‘I wound up getting quite a few staples in my scalp but thankfully I have hair so nobody can see the scar.

‘I had never met the guy before, I didn’t recognize him. I think he was wearing a mask because I was cleaning up some leaves one day and I found a black stocking.’

British-born Gordon, who grew up in the US five doors along from Mr Nash and his family, was arrested on June 13.

He was charged with burglary and aggravated battery as well as multiple counts of armed sexual battery and armed kidnapping relating to an earlier April 29 attack on a female neighbor.

Gordon pleaded guilty and was treated as an adult in Florida’s judicial system, serving 20 years before being deported to the UK where he, Miss Marten and their newborn baby have been missing for nearly two weeks. 

Today, Mr Nash, 58, urged Gordon to go to police. 

‘The woman down the street was raped and he kept her there for hours. He used her own children against her so she would cooperate,’ he said. 

‘I don’t know if 20 years in prison changed him for the better, or for the worse. I don’t know if he’s just hiding out with this British woman or up to something more nefarious.

‘But I would err on the side of caution. I would urge her to come forward and give her family some peace of mind. Let them know you’re ok and that everything is fine.’

Earlier this week, Gordon’s mother claimed he and Miss Marten had ‘married in secret’ and insisted ‘he’s a good boy.  

Sylvia, 83,  said: ‘I am very concerned. I love my son. He is a good boy so I don’t know what this is all about.

‘I am worried for all of them. I am thinking, I wonder if someone kidnapped them?’

Constance Marten, pictured on the right, at Mist Mag party in 2013 with two other women

Constance Marten – pictured again at the 2013 party – has been missing for two weeks 

Gordon was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, but he, his mother and his half-siblings moved to the US when he was young. 

Film producer has Napier Marten issued a plea to his estranged daughter Constance to get herself and the child to safety.

He told the Independent: ‘Darling Constance, even though we remain estranged at the moment, I stand by, as I have always done and as the family has always done, to do whatever is necessary for your safe return to us.

‘I beseech you to find a way to turn yourself and your wee one in to the police as soon as possible, so you and he or she can be protected.

‘Only then can a process of healing and recovery begin, however long it may take, however difficult it may be.

‘We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare.

‘I would like you to understand that the family will do all that is needed for your wellbeing.

‘And I also wish you to understand you are much, much loved whatever the circumstances.’

Ms Marten has now been missing for nearly two weeks. 

The Metropolitan Police, who are leading the search to find the pair and newborn, have said they have a substantial amount of cash on them from a multi-million trust fund that permits them to live off-grid.

Constance Marten’s social media presence showed a creative side in her early years

The car the pair were driving broke down and caught fire, as seen in this picture from police

Police released this picture of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon outside East Ham station at around 11.45am on January 7

Aristocrat daughter of Queen’s page missing with lover and newborn was Tatler ‘It’ girl and ‘talented actress’

They have no luggage with them after most of their belongings were destroyed in the car fire, and they are using money to pay for taxis.

Police are worried for the newborn and say neither Ms Marten nor the baby have had medical attention since the birth.

The couple are understood to have lived an isolated life since meeting in 2016 in London, with then-drama student Ms Marten cutting off ties with family and friends.

It is not clear how they met, but Gordon is believed to have lived locally to her and worked as a labourer. 

Last September, they began moving around the country, renting AirBnBs for brief periods.

On January 5, they were on the M61 when their car broke down and caught fire near junction four at Farnworth, Bolton.

The couple then walked to Anchor Lane Bridge, where they took a taxi to Liverpool before getting another to Harwich, Essex.

They were seen around Colchester on Friday January 6 and Saturday 7, when they took another taxi to East Ham Station in Newham, London.

Each time Ms Marten and Mr Gordon are seen on CCTV, they are covering their faces or looking away, and have kept the baby covered up.

Investigators say the couple appear to know how to evade authorities – making the search for them harder.

Constance Marten – whose nickname was Toots – comes from an aristocratic family

Missing mother was society darling

Privately educated, the 35-year-old hails from an aristocratic family with links to the royals.

When she was 21, she featured in society magazine Tatler as its ‘Babe of the Month’.

Posing in 2009 for a Q&A-type feature, Ms Marten described her favourite place as being on top of the Matterhorn, which she had recently climbed.

Asked what her best party had been, she answered: ‘Viscount Cranbourne’s party in Dorset – the theme was the Feast of Bacchus.’

She added that her party trick was ‘crunching a Coke can between my shoulder blades’ like ‘a human recycling machine’ and that her future plans included getting a tattoo of a tortoise on the bottom of her foot.

 

Police believe they could be anywhere in the UK and are appealing to the public to come forward with any information that may help find them.

Some 200 officers are working on the search and have scoured through more than 200 hours of CCTV footage since the pair were last seen on January 7.

Gordon’s conviction relates to a Florida attack on a woman in her early 20s when he was 14.

Ms Marten is the granddaughter of Mary Anna Marten, whose godmother was the late Queen mother.

The family used to own the Crichel estate in Dorset.

Privately educated, the 35-year-old hails from an aristocratic family with links to the royals. 

When she was 21, she featured in society magazine Tatler as its ‘Babe of the Month’.

Posing in 2009 for a Q&A-type feature, Ms Marten described her favourite place as being on top of the Matterhorn, which she had recently climbed.

Asked what her best party had been, she answered: ‘Viscount Cranbourne’s party in Dorset – the theme was the Feast of Bacchus.’

She added that her party trick was ‘crunching a Coke can between my shoulder blades’ like ‘a human recycling machine’ and that her future plans included getting a tattoo of a tortoise on the bottom of her foot.

After her car broke down on the M61 near Bolton on Thursday evening, Ms Marten is believed to have been spotted wrapped in red blanket in Harwich Port, Essex on Saturday at 9am

Constance’s ancestors: George Marten with wife Mary and daughters Victoria, Charlotte and Georgina 

Her family’s £100million Dorset estate included a Grade I-listed mansion, four villages, a cricket club and a lake, while her brother’s wedding to a society jewellery designer last summer was featured on the website of fashion bible Vogue.

She is known by the nickname ‘Toots’, and attended private St Mary’s School in Shaftesbury, after which she is understood to have studied Arabic and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Leeds.

She then trained as a journalist and photographer. She is the granddaughter of Toby Marten, a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy and equerry to George VI, and his wife Mary Anna, who had close links to the Royal Family, attending the Brownies pack at Buckingham Palace alongside Princess Margaret in her youth.

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