Closing speeches in harbour murder trial

The lawyer for a woman accused of murdering her colleague by driving him into a harbour where he drowned, said if she had done so deliberately, she would be “committing suicide”.

Giollaiosa Ó Lideadha, in his closing speech to a jury in the Central Criminal Court trial yesterday, also said the deceased was probably the one who had pulled the handbrake, but that this was not proof of guilt.

Marta Herda, aged 29, of Pairc Na Saile, Emoclew Rd, Arklow, Co Wicklow, is charged with the murder of Csaba Orsos, aged 31, on March 26, 2013. The Polish waitress has pleaded not guilty.

Mr Ó Lideadha said the prosecution case was unsustainable and did not make any sense. He said something amazing had happened in the State’s closing speech by Brendan Grehan.

“He said to you that some of you might find it fanciful or farfetched that Marta Herda deliberately drove into that water because she had the window open and could swim,” he said.

Mr Ó Lideadha said it was a true and important concession. “I’m happy to allow you to apply your gut here. It just doesn’t make sense,” he said, adding the prosecution said she may have wanted to take her life.

“I find this a truly amazing proposition because that’s the defence case, that how could she have done this because it would be committing suicide,” he said. He said the evidence contradicted any proposition she was suicidal.

He explained a murder conviction could be brought in only where there was intent to kill or seriously injure.

He said if the jurors decided she may not have intended it, but was reckless and thought about the risk to life, a verdict of manslaughter would be open to them. However, he added: “I would submit there’s no evidence to support that conclusion.”

Today, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy will begin charging the jury .


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