Friday 9 December 2016

Murder accused 'told me she drove into water'

Natasha Reid

Published 08/07/2016 | 02:30

Marta Herda Picture: Collins Courts
Marta Herda Picture: Collins Courts

A woman charged with murdering her colleague by driving him into a harbour told a paramedic: "He shouldn't have been there. I drove the car into the water," a court has heard.

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The paramedic was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court where Marta Herda is on trial for the murder of 31-year-old Csaba Orsas on March 26, 2013.

The Polish waitress, of Pairc Na Saile, Emoclew Road, Arklow, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the Hungarian at South Quay, Arklow.

Paul Quinn testified that he was called to the quay at around 6.15 that morning, where he met Ms Herda. "She was soaking wet, distraught, cold and shivery," he recalled. "There was white foam coming from her mouth."

He said he tried to talk to her in the back of the ambulance during the 45-minute journey.

"She would repeat the name Csaba. She was concerned," he said. "Csaba was the passenger in the car." He was asked if she mentioned who was driving. "Marta said she was driving," he replied.

Mr Quinn said that she kept mentioning that Csaba "shouldn't have been there".

A witness, who lived near the quay, testified that she was woken by a woman screaming that she had been raped.

Christina Byrne said she went outside once she heard the words: "Help. I've been raped."

She was cross-examined by Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, who put it to her that her neighbour, Maria Travers, had also thought she had heard the word "rape" but accepted under cross-examination the woman might not have said this.

"My own client can't remember what she said," he had told Ms Travers. "But there's no suggestion that she was raped, so I suggest it may be possible she didn't say that."

Mr Ó Lideadha had earlier indicated that the State's case was that his client had lured Mr Orsas to his death. He was questioning the garda dealing with phone records.

The trial has now gone into legal argument before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy. It will continue on Monday before the jury.

Irish Independent

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