Wednesday 21 February 2018

Jury in trial of woman accused of murdering colleague by driving him into harbour to begin deliberations

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

Natasha Reid

A jury will begin its deliberations on Monday in the trial of a woman accused of murdering her colleague by driving him into a harbour, where he drowned.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy spent Friday charging the eight men and four women following the trial at the Central Criminal Court.

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 29-year-old Polish waitress has pleaded not guilty to murdering the Hungarian at South Quay, Arklow.

Both had been in Ms Herda’s car when it went into the water shortly before 6 o’clock that morning. Ms Herda escaped at the harbour but Mr Orsos couldn’t swim and his body was found on a nearby beach later that day.

The trial heard that they had worked together. She told gardai that he was in love with her, but she didn’t feel the same way.

She said he had spent two years following her, phoning her and sending her messages. She told detectives they had been arguing in the car when she drove into the water.

Mr Justice McCarthy told the jurors that three options were open to them: guilty of murder, acquittal or not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

He said that for a murder verdict, they must be satisfied that there was intent to kill or seriously injure.

He said that a person could form the intention to kill someone on the spot.

“No element of pre planning is needed in any elaborate way,” he said.

He also said that it was not necessary for the prosecution to prove motive.

He explained that there must have been a high degree of negligence for a manslaughter verdict. He said that the negligence must be such to cause a risk of substantial injury to others.

“If I drove my car over a pier, it’s almost unthinkable that I wouldn’t have been at least careless to a moderate degree,” he said.

However, he said it would not give rise to anything remotely near the gross negligence required for manslaughter.

“It seems inevitable that there was some degree of carelessness in causing the car to be in the water,” he said, explaining that it was up to the jury to decide whether the accused was grossly negligent.

The jury will begin deliberating on Monday and has been told that its verdict must be unanimous.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News