Woman found guilty of murder after she drove workmate off pier

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Woman found guilty of murder after she drove workmate off pier
13:42 Thursday 28th of July 2016

A 29-year-old woman has been found guilty of murdering her colleague by driving a car he was a passenger in off a pier into deep water.

Marta Herda, of Emoclew Road in Arklow, had denied the murder of 31-year-old Csaba Orsas at the South Pier in Arklow on March 26, 2013.

The prosecution had said she deliberately drove off the pier knowing Mr Orsas (below) could not swim.

Csaba Orsas

Marta herda car

After more than eight hours of deliberation, the jury found her guilty of murder by an 11 to one majority.

Herda wept in court after the verdict was delivered.

The trial heard both had been in Herda's car when it crashed through a barrier and went into the water in the early hours of the morning.

She managed to swim to safety but Mr Orsas could not swim and his body was found on a nearby beach later that day.

The trial heard that they had worked together and he was in love with her, but she did not feel the same way.

She told gardaí he had spent two years following her, phoning her and sending her messages.

The prosecution claimed Herda had left her own window down and was wearing light clothing on a bitterly cold night.

Senior counsel Brendan Grehan said she had used her car as "an instrument of murder".

Marta Herda 3

He told the jury that critical phone evidence showed that Herda rang Mr Orsas three times that morning and within a very short time frame, 15 minutes, he was in her car which was then driven into the water.

Mr Grehan told the jury whether she did it on the spur of the moment or thought about it beforehand was irrelevant and said the intention for murder could be formed at the time.

"Someone overheating, losing the run of themselves can commit murder," he said.

He also pointed to evidence that the handbrake had been applied and only the driver's window was down.

However, defence counsel Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha said the prosecution's case was "completely unsustainable" and did not make any sense.

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