Jury in trial of woman accused of driving man off harbour begins deliberations

Jury in trial of woman accused of driving man off harbour begins deliberations

A Central Criminal Court jury will resume deliberations tomorrow morning in the trial of a woman accused of murdering her colleague by driving him into a harbour, where he drowned.

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 6am 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 gardaí 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 Patrick McCarthy sent the eight men and four women of the jury to begin deliberating this morning.

He had told them that they had three possible verdicts 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 and that it was not necessary for the prosecution to prove motive.

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

“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.

He told them their verdict must be unanimous.

The jury had deliberated for almost three hours before being sent home for the night. They will resume tomorrow morning.

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