herald

Sunday 30 April 2017

Killer Herda wants bail before her murder conviction appeal

Jailed waitress Marta Herda
Jailed waitress Marta Herda

The killer waitress who drowned a man who loved her by driving into a deep harbour will seek bail in April pending an appeal against her conviction for murder.

Marta Herda (29), of Pairc Na Saile, Emoclew Road, Arklow, Co Wicklow, knew that 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.

The Central Criminal Court heard that Herda escaped through the driver's window, but her companion's body was found on a nearby beach later that day.

A post-mortem examination found that her companion, 31-year-old Csaba Orsos, died from drowning and not from injuries related to the crash. The trial heard the handbrake had been applied before the car entered the water and that the only open window was the driver's.

Life

The Polish waitress had pleaded not guilty to the Hungarian man's murder.

She was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury and was given the mandatory life sentence by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy on July 28, 2016.

Herda has lodged an appeal against her conviction. Her lawyers sought a date to apply for bail in the Court of Appeal yesterday pending the hearing.

Counsel for Herda, Giollaiosa O Lideadha, told Mr Justice George Birmingham it was an appropriate matter for bail.

A "discrete, clear ground" of appeal had been established on the material, which would give rise to a "strong chance of success" in Herda's appeal against conviction, Mr O Lideadha said.

The matter would not require consideration of the whole transcript, Mr O Lideadha said, and would only take approximately half an hour to hear oral arguments on.

Mr O Lideadha said he would have made his application earlier but wanted to "make sure our contentions were supported by what was said and not said by the [trial] judge to the jury".

Bail

Mr Justice Birmingham listed the bail application for hearing on April 5.

Mr O Lideadha said his side had a detailed affidavit. It was their intention to put in a written submission, "which would be very brief", counsel said.

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