Wednesday 28 September 2016

'I think he fell in love with me,' waitress charged with killing colleague told gardaí

Natasha Reid

Published 12/07/2016 | 02:30

Marta Herda outside court. Photo: Collins
Marta Herda outside court. Photo: Collins

A woman charged with murdering her colleague by driving him into a harbour, where he drowned, told gardaí that she couldn't take it anymore after he had followed her, texted her and told her he loved her "24 hours a day" over two years.

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The waitress's first garda statements were read to the Central Criminal Court yesterday on the fifth day of the 29-year-old's trial.

Csabas Orsos
Csabas Orsos

Marta Herda, of Pairc Na Saile, Emoclew Road, Arklow, Co Wicklow, is charged with the murder of 31-year-old Csaba Orsas on March 26, 2013. The Polish woman has pleaded not guilty to murdering the Hungarian at South Quay, Arklow.

Submerged

Garda Anthony Crehan said that he took a voluntary statement from Ms Herda at the hospital, where she had been taken after swimming to safety from her submerged car. He took another statement at Arklow Garda Station.

She said in her statement that she had met Mr Orsas while working at the BrookLodge Hotel two years earlier.

"I think he fell in love with me," she said. "I was never his girlfriend, but it was 24 hours a day. He came to my place, to my friends' places."

Ms Herda said that he used to talk about her to her colleagues.

"He tell them we have sex, but that not true," she said in broken English. "It got worse."

"People think this funny, but not for me. The second year it no longer funny. I once got angry with him but he like me angry. He like my eyes."

She said that the management were aware of the problem, and that a friend had spoken to the deceased man's brother in order to keep him away.

Ms Herda claimed that she would frequently see Mr Orsas's car outside her house, where she lived alone. She said that she had told him to "f**k off" and leave her alone, but he told her that he could see in her eyes that they would have children together.

Ms Herda said she was scared and depressed, and didn't tell gardaí because "people don't like police" in Poland.

Ms Herda said that the day before the incident Mr Orsas had followed her to the playground, where she had been minding her friend's children.

She said that she went to a friend's house that night and had a couple of glasses of wine. That friend, Viktor Szentesi, had driven her home in her car.

"Csaba come to my car. He wanted to talk," she said. "He was screaming at me. He say 'motherf**ker Viktor'."

She said she drove down Main Street, Arklow, and he was feeling her left leg and remembered hitting the accelerator.

"I feel I have enough of this," she said. "I drive to water. I cannot take this anymore."

"When I drove into the water, I wanted this all to stop."

The trial also heard from the doctor and nurses who treated her in hospital that morning.

Nurse Claire Best testified that she asked her if she had been hurt.

"She said she didn't give him a chance," Ms Best said.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.

Irish Independent

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