Saturday 20 October 2018

'I will be the best husband and you will never regret it' - Drowning victim's Valentine's card for waitress accused of his murder

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

Natasha Reid

A jury has been shown a Valentine’s card allegedly sent to the woman charged with murdering the sender by driving him into a harbour, where he drowned.

A garda held up the Valentine’s card and read out its contents to the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday on the sixth 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 Orsas 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.

Garda Anthony Crehan testified that he had taken a voluntary statement from the accused, in which she said that the deceased had been in love with her but that she had told him that they couldn’t ever have a relationship. She said it was ‘24 hours a day’ and that she couldn’t take it anymore.

She gave the garda a Valentine's card that she had received from the deceased.

Accused woman Marta Herda Picture: Collins
Accused woman Marta Herda Picture: Collins

Garda Crehan held it up in the witness box so the jury could see. He explained that it had pink roses in a vase on the front of the card and included the words, ‘Thinking of you’, printed inside. A love heart had been drawn around this, he said.

He then read what had been handwritten on both sides of the card.


“Dear Marta, I would just like to tell you in letters how much I love you. Seriously, I feel that I find you finally, the girl I was looking for in all my life. I wish to share my life with only you.”

Csabas Orsos
Csabas Orsos

Gda Crehan explained that Marta was then spelled out, with a love heart drawn around each letter.

“I’m ready to do anything for you. I can change all my bad habits for the way you wish. Millions of kisses,” it continued.

“Thinking of you in every second. I love you Marta. I can promise that I will be the best husband and you will never regret it.”

A phone number was given and a smiley face drawn before the final words: “I’m mad about you”.

The card was dated and timed, "21/5/12, 22.54".

The defence had earlier suggested that he had not put to Ms Herda the proposition of her driving into the water deliberately.

“I wrote it down as she said it,” he replied. “She’s painted a picture of a back history with this guy and it culminated in this.”

The defence then put to him the contents of a subsequent interview, in which Gda Crehan had not participated.

“I didn’t want to do that, but I don’t want all this happened,” she had said. “It was horrible and scary in this car. I don’t want to see him anymore.”

She was asked if she had driven deliberately into the water.

“No. I would never want to hurt anyone or even to destroy my car,” she replied.

The accused woman’s former boyfriend, Eamon Ibrahim, also gave evidence.

He testified that she had been suspicious of his former girlfriends and ‘maybe a bit jealous’.

He was asked how she was with other men while they were together.

“She got on with other men,” he replied.

He was also asked about her swimming ability and he described it as good.

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

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