Saturday 10 December 2016

Harbour murder trial jury shown Valentine's card 'sent to accused'

Natasha Reid

Published 13/07/2016 | 02:30

Marta Herda arriving at court on Tuesday. Photo: Collins
Marta Herda arriving at court on Tuesday. Photo: Collins

A jury has been shown a Valentine's card allegedly given to the woman charged with murdering the man who she claims sent it.

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The court heard that Marta Herda denied driving deliberately into a harbour with Csaba Orsas in her car. The victim drowned.

A garda held up the Valentine's card and read out its contents to the Central Criminal Court yesterday on the sixth day of the 29-year-old woman's trial.

Ms Herda, of Páirc Na Saile, Emoclew Road, Arklow, Co Wicklow, is charged with the murder of 31-year-old Mr Orsas on March 26, 2013.

The Polish waitress has pleaded not guilty to murdering the Hungarian man at South Quay, Arklow. Both worked at Brook Lodge Hotel in Aughrim.

Garda Anthony Crehan testified that he took a voluntary statement from the accused, in which she said that the deceased had been in love with her, but that she had told him that they couldn't ever have a relationship.

She said it (his pursuit of her) was "24 hours a day" and that she couldn't take it any more.

Ms Herda gave the garda a Valentine's card that she had received from the deceased.

Garda Crehan held it up in the witness box so that the jury could see.

He explained that it had pink roses in a vase on the front of the card and included the words "Thinking of you" printed inside. A love heart had been drawn around this, he said.

He then read what was written on both sides of the card.

"LOVE LETTER!"

"Dear Marta, I would just like to tell you in letters how much I love you.

"Seriously, I feel that I find you finally, the girl I was looking for in all my life. I wish to share my life with only you."

Garda Crehan explained that 'Marta' was then spelled out with a love heart around each letter.

"I'm ready to do anything for you. I can change all my bad habits for the way you wish. Millions of kisses," it continued. "Thinking of you in every second. I love you Marta. I can promise that I will be the best husband and you will never regret it."

A phone number was given and the final words were: "I'm mad about you."

The card was dated and timed 21/5/12, 22.54.

The court later heard that Ms Herda was asked in a subsequent interview if she had driven deliberately into the water.

"No. I would never want to hurt anyone or even to destroy my car," she replied.

The accused woman's former boyfriend, Eamon Ibrahim, also gave evidence. He testified that she had been suspicious of his former girlfriends and "maybe a bit jealous".

He was asked how she was with other men while they were together. "She got on with other men," he replied. He was also asked about her swimming ability and he described it as good.

The trial continues before a jury of eight men and four women.

Irish Independent

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