Friday 19 January 2018

'He died because of love for me,' says accused

Marta Herda. Photo: Collins Courts
Marta Herda. Photo: Collins Courts

Natasha Reid

A woman accused of murdering her colleague by driving him into a harbour, where he drowned, told gardai he was dead because of his love for her.

Memos of the waitress's garda interviews were read to the Central Criminal Court on the eighth day of her trial.

Marta Herda, who escaped from the car, told gardaí the deceased was in love with her but that she didn't feel the same.

She said it was '24 hours a day' and that she couldn't take it any more.

Ms Herda (29), of Pairc Na Saile, Emoclew Road, Arklow, Co Wicklow, is charged with the murder of 31-year-old Csaba Orsos on March 26, 2013.

She has pleaded not guilty to murdering the Hungarian at South Quay, Arklow.

They both worked at Brook Lodge Hotel in Aughrim.

Detective Sergeant Fergus O'Brien testified that he arrested Ms Herda at her home on August 2, 2013.

She was interviewed at Wicklow Garda Station.

The statement of a man working at the harbour was put to her. He described the speed of a car he heard as "pedal-to-the-floor stuff".

"Yes, I was stressed and nervous," she said, when asked if the car was going fast.

"I didn't want to drive there. It was an accident," she said.

"I couldn't understand what he was saying and then, boom," she said, denying that she had driven into the water deliberately.

She was asked if she'd agree that she was driving recklessly.

"No, I don't think so," she replied. "I wouldn't hurt anyone. I could have killed myself. I didn't want to die. I have a family."

She said it would have been easier if the deceased was there to explain. "I wish he was still here," she said.

Asked whether he had shouted at her to stop, she said there was screaming in the car all the way from her house.

She was then shown CCTV footage of her car travelling through Arklow at 5.28am. She was asked how many were in the car.

"One," she replied.

"Where's Csaba?" she was asked. She said she didn't know.

"You told us he got into your car at your house," said the gardaí. "I don't know," she replied.

Call records were put to her, showing that she had rung the deceased at 5.20am.

She agreed that she had 'probably' rung him at 5.35am to come out to her. She agreed she knew he couldn't swim.

"Would you agree that Csaba Orsos is dead because of your criminally dangerous act?" she was asked.

"He is dead because of his love for me," she replied.

The trial heard earlier that the handbrake had been applied before the car entered the water and that the only open window was that of the driver.

The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury.

Irish Independent

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