Sunday 4 December 2016

I would have saved him if I'd seen him: woman accused of harbour murder

Natasha Reid

Published 19/07/2016 | 02:30

Marta Herda (29), arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Pic Collins Courts
Marta Herda (29), arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Pic Collins Courts

A woman accused of murdering her colleague by driving him into a harbour told gardaí that she would have saved him if she had seen him in the water.

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A video of the waitress's garda interviews were played to the Central Criminal Court on the ninth day of her trial.

Marta Herda, of Pairc Na Saile, Emoclew Road, Arklow, Co Wicklow, is charged with the murder of 31-year-old Csaba Orsos on March 26, 2013.

The 29-year-old Polish woman has pleaded not guilty to murdering the Hungarian at South Quay, Arklow.

They both worked at Brook Lodge Hotel in Aughrim and the trial heard that he was in love with her, but that she didn't feel the same way.

Both had been in Ms Herda's car when it went into the water that morning. Ms Herda escaped at the harbour but Mr Orsos' body was found on a nearby beach later that day.

Detective Sergeant Fergus O'Brien was being cross-examined by the defence about the interviews that he had conducted with Ms Herda (right) following her arrest in August 2013.

He agreed that not all of what she had said, which could be seen on the videos, had made it into the gardaí's handwritten memos. Segments of the videos were then played at the request of the defence. "If I would see him in the water, I was hoping I would try to save him," she said.

"But, my friend said: 'Don't even think of this. It is good that it didn't happen because then you would die together'."

She explained that her friend thought that he would have pulled her down. She said she was constantly thinking of what she should have done. "If I had driven a different way . . ." she suggested.

She was asked what sort of person the deceased was. "I don't know if he was a good person or a bad person," she replied. "For me, he was like a good-hearted person." However, she said she was afraid of him too. "He had a few personalities," she said.

She said that she had seen his suffering due to him having fallen 'in love with me badly'.

She was asked if he was a nuisance. "Yes," she replied.

She was asked if he was a pest. "Yes," she replied. "He said he will prove to the whole world how much he loves me."

Relationship

She said she had never had a sexual relationship with him.

"I said: 'I could never be with someone like you because you would lock me somewhere'."

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy had earlier told the jury of eight men and four women that he had been asked to bring a number of matters to their attention.

He said that it was essential they consider the case only on the evidence before them. "Media reports cannot and do not provide a full account of the relevant evidence," he said. "Indeed, media reports may refer to some aspects of evidence and not others, thereby giving an incorrect impression," he said. He said that it was better that they did not discuss the case with anyone else, who might be affected by such media reports.

Irish Independent

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