Thursday 29 September 2016

'This will be us one day' - Murder accused tells deceased at friend's wedding, court hears

Natasha Reid

Published 13/07/2016 | 13:59

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

A murder trial jury has seen a video of the deceased celebrating his birthday with the woman alleged to have murdered him by driving him into a harbour, where he drowned.

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The video was played to the Central Criminal Court this morning on the seventh day of the 29-year-old’s 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 Polish waitress has pleaded not guilty to murdering the Hungarian at South Quay, Arklow. Both had worked at Brook Lodge Hotel in Aughrim.

She told gardai that he had been in love with her and that she didn’t feel the same way. She said it was ‘24 hours a day’ and that she couldn’t take it anymore when she drove to the harbour that morning.

The deceased man’s brother, Zoltan Sandor, testified this morning that his brother’s birthday was on July 24th and that he and his family had celebrated it with him at the deceased man’s home around that time in 2012.

He was shown a video of the celebration that a friend of the deceased had discovered after his death. Ms Herda could be seen sitting at the table next to the deceased as a he blew out the candles on his cake.

He agreed with the defence that he could be heard telling Ms Herda that she was the present or something to that effect.

He was also asked if Ms Herda could be heard replying that she had come to the house to warn the deceased that his manager knew he had lied when he had rung in sick.

“My English at this time is 50/50,” he replied, indicating that he couldn’t be sure what she had said.

The jury also heard that Ms Herda had pointed to the bride’s and groom’s seats at a wedding once, while telling the deceased: “This will be us one day.”

The evidence was given by Martin Penn, a former colleague of the deceased and the accused.

He said he recalled setting up for a wedding with them one day.

“Marta Herda pointed at the bride’s and groom’s empty seats,” he testified. “She stated: ‘This will be us one day’.”

Under cross examination by the defence, he accepted that this could have bee a line that the deceased had used many times.

“She does accept that she said it , but in a lighthearted way in the context of him having said that to her on many occasions,” said Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending.

“Would you accept that?” he asked the witness.

“Yeah, ok,” replied Mr Penn.

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

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