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Friday 16 November 2018

'Herda's a killer who should sit in jail for life' - victim's brother

Marta Herda received a life sentence following the murder of Hungarian national Csaba Orsos. Photo: Collins Courts
Marta Herda received a life sentence following the murder of Hungarian national Csaba Orsos. Photo: Collins Courts
Csaba Orsos, who was murdered in Co Wicklow in 2013. Photo: Provided by family
Csaba Orsos, who was murdered in Co Wicklow in 2013. Photo: Provided by family

The brother of a man who drowned after the woman he loved drove off a pier and into a harbour has said his killer deserves to spend the rest of her life behind bars.

Csaba Orsos' brother, Zoltan Sandor, also told the Herald that he will never forget identifying his brother's body in a body bag in a lifeboat house and how "part of me died" the day his brother was murdered.

Marta Herda (30) was handed a life sentence in July last year after being convicted of the murder of Hungarian national Mr Orsos (31).

Herda, from Poland, drove her Volkswagen Passat through the crash barriers at South Quay, Arklow, Co Wicklow, shortly before 6am on March 26, 2013. She managed to swim to safety, but Mr Orsos did not make it out of the water.

Evidence heard during the trial revealed that Mr Orsos could not swim and this was known by Herda.

Escaped

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, through which Herda escaped.

Mr Orsos' body washed up on a beach further down the coast later that day and was later identified by his distressed brother at the lifeboat house in Arklow. A post-mortem later revealed that Mr Orsos died from drowning and not from injuries related to the crash.

The badly-damaged car was removed from the harbour by crane on the day of the crash. Herda, of Pairc Na Saile, Emoclew Road, Arklow, had pleaded not guilty to murder but was found guilty by a jury at the Central Criminal Court and sentenced to life.

She appealed her conviction on 17 grounds. However, Mr Justice Alan Mahon last month said all grounds of appeal were rejected.

Herda began sobbing and embraced a number of family members and friends after the judgment was delivered. Speaking outside court, her family indicated that an appeal to the Supreme Court was now likely. Mr Orsos' brother has told the Herald that he always had faith in the judges of the appeal court.

"My reaction to her losing the appeal was normal enough because I believed in the judges," he said.

"I hoped they could handle this appeal properly and they would send her back to prison because a murderer should have to sit for life in jail."

Speaking about his family's loss, Zoltan said they still found it hard to believe what happened to Csaba.

"My brother is dead. He won't have any chance for a life, to take air, walk or have a family," he said. "Four years is so long without him and it is so hard to understand what happened to him.

"I will never forget when I had to see and identify my brother in a body bag in the lifeboat house. On the day when he died, my heart died as well."

During Herda's trial, it was heard that Mr Orsos was in love with Herda, but she did not share the same feelings for him. Zoltan tried to explain to the Herald how his brother had loved Herda.

Love

"He asked me many times what to do, fight for the love or not?" he said. "The first time I said, yes, why not?"

Zoltan said he saw how she would act around Csaba, giving him the impression that there was hope for a future for them.

"It was her who would rub his shoulder and say 'hi, Csaba, how are you?' and I think she wanted to show him that maybe they had a small chance, and maybe my brother believed that as well," said Zoltan.

"I told my brother to leave it alone, to stop believing it, but he was in love with her.

"My brother was the person who just wanted to come to Ireland, make some money and buy his own house - he wanted a normal life and family.

"But he met with her and we don't know what happened and we don't know now what the future was for Csaba.

"We will never forget him."

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