A 29-year-old woman has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering the man who loved her by driving him into a deep harbour, where he drowned.

Marta Herda was a good swimmer and knew her passenger could not swim, when she drove her Volkswagen Passat through the crash barriers at South Quay, Arklow shortly before 6am on March 26, 2013.

She escaped through the driver’s window but her colleague’s body was found on a nearby beach later that day. A postmortem found that 31-year-old Csaba Orsos died from drowning and not from injuries related to the crash.

The trial heard that the handbrake had been applied before the car entered the water and that the only open window was the driver’s.

The Polish waitress, of Pairc Na Saile, Emoclew Rd, Arklow, Co Wicklow, had pleaded not guilty of murdering the Hungarian at a trial at the Central Criminal Court.

The jury heard that Mr Orsos was in love with her. Herda told gardaí she didn’t feel the same way, and that he had spent two years following her, phoning her, and sending her messages.

The jury returned to court at 11.36am yesterday, having spent a total of eight hours and 11 minutes deliberating. They found her guilty of murder by a majority of 11-1.

Herda wept as Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy signalled for her to stand while he imposed the mandatory life sentence. She was then led away from her friends by prison officers.

Garda Catherine O’Rourke read a victim impact statement from Zoltan Sandro, Mr Orsos’s brother.

“When I had to identify my dead brother, my heart teared apart [broke] because of the pain,” he said. “I remember every moment of it, it will stay with me forever. He was so cold. I would have never thought that this way I have to say goodbye to him. Sometimes because of the pain in my chest I want to scream.”

He said he and his siblings rarely talked about their brother. “Everybody is suffering in silence,” he said.

He said he sometimes couldn’t look in the mirror. “He just wanted to be happy,” he said. “Family, kids, things that everybody wants, but he will never have a chance for all this because he died.”


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