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Sunday 23 July 2017

Killer waitress Marta Herda befriends woman who murdered mum

Marta Herda. Pic Collins Courts.
Marta Herda. Pic Collins Courts.
Marta Herda killed Csaba Orsos by driving off a pier in Arklow Picture: Collins
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The cold-blooded waitress who drowned a man who loved her by driving off a pier has befriended an Eastern European prisoner serving a life sentence for killing her mother.

Marta Herda (29) was jailed for life last July after being found guilty of murdering Hungarian-born Csaba Orsos (31) by driving her Volkswagen Passat through the crash barrier and into the sea at South Quay, Arklow, on March 26, 2013.

She was a good swimmer and knew that Mr Orsos could not swim.

The jury heard that Mr Orsos was in love with her but that Herda did not return his affections, and she felt pestered and annoyed by his attention.

Now known as Prisoner 94081, Herda has few friends as she serves her mandatory life sentence in the Cedar House complex of the Dochas Centre women's jail beside Mountjoy Prison.

She has appealed against her murder conviction and hopes to have it overturned. No date has yet been listed for the appeal hearing.

Csaba Orsos
Csaba Orsos

Cleaning

"The prison population is mostly Irish, so she's living a kind of solitary life. She does a lot of the cleaning in the houses that make up the Dochas Centre," said a source.

"She gets on with it. She wouldn't be friendly with many, but sometimes that takes a long time to happen. One prisoner she does spend some time with is Greta Dudko."

Lithuanian-born nurse Dudko was 36 when she received a life sentence in 2014 for murdering her mother on Christmas Eve, 2010.

Dudko admitted killing Anna Butautiene (55 ) by banging her head against a wall and hitting her over the head with a glass bottle.

She died of blunt force trauma to her head in the home they shared at Stationcourt Hall, Clonsilla, Dublin.

Both Herda and Dudko pleaded not guilty to murder, but both were found guilty by 11 to one majority verdicts.

"I suppose they have a lot in common and that's why they talk - they're both from the east of Europe and they're both serving time for killing people. They seem to get on," said the source.

Dudko had previously been reported to have formed a friendship behind bars with 'Scissor Sister' Linda Mulhall.

Mulhall and her sister Charlotte were convicted of killing Kenyan immigrant Farah Swaleh Noor in March 2005 and dismembering his body.

Herda has also been getting visits from a man with whom she has been spotted holding hands.

"They seem very close. Nobody is sure if he's a partner or a friend, but he's really the only one who she has because her family are so far away," said the source.

Herda's case generated a great deal of public interest.

At first, Mr Orsos' death app- eared to be a tragic accident.

He and Herda had worked together at the BrookLodge Hotel in Co Wicklow.

The court heard evidence that a security guard had heard the VW Passat coming at speed from the town shortly before 6am on the morning of March 26. He then saw and heard Marta Herda screaming as she ran towards the town.

Gardai found her soaking wet and frothing at the mouth a short time later.

She told them there was someone in the water and that they had to help.

Herda later told a garda that Mr Orsos was dead because of his love for her. She said it was 24 hours a day and that she could not take it any more.

"People think this is, funny but not for me," she said on the day of the drowning.

She said Mr Orsos had got into her car and wanted her to drive to the beach, but he began screaming at her.

Herda said she remembered hitting the accelerator.

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

She added that she recalled being under the water and then managed to get out of the car.

In his closing speech, the prosecutor said Herda's car was used as "an instrument of murder".

A post-mortem found that Mr Orsos died from drowning and not from injuries related to the crash.

The court heard that only the driver's window was open.

Herda, of Emoclew Road, Arklow, Co Wicklow, was charged with murdering Hungarian Mr Orsos.

She pleaded not guilty and went on trial at the Central Criminal Court. The jury found her guilty.

Herda showed no emotion as the registrar read out the verdict, but became emotional when the court rose for a number of minutes before sentencing.

She wept uncontrollably as Mr Justice McCarthy signalled for her to stand while he imposed the mandatory life sentence.

Apartments

Prisoners are accommodated in seven separate houses in the Dochas Centre, with each house accommodating 10 to 12 inmates, except for one called Cedar, which can accommodate 18 women.

The pre-release centre called Phoenix accommodates women in private rooms or in self-contained studio apartments.

Inmates live in en-suite rooms with their own keys, meaning they can move about relatively freely.

Houses are locked at 7.30pm, with all the women in the prison being locked into their rooms at that time except for those, including Herda, in Cedar and Phoenix Houses.

Houses and rooms are unlocked at 7.30am. Prisoners then organise their own breakfasts in the kitchens and eat lunch with prison staff in the dining room, with an evening meal being served in the there at 5pm.

Each house has a kitchen and dining room with a sitting room facility.

Irish Independent

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