Woman who drove man into harbour to seek bail pending appeal

Marta Herda was jailed last year for murdering Csaba Orsos who drowned in Arklow

Marata Herda has lodged an appeal against her conviction. Photograph: Collins Courts

Marata Herda has lodged an appeal against her conviction. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A 29-year-old woman who drove a man who loved her into a deep harbour, where he drowned, will seek bail in April pending an appeal against her conviction for murder.

Marta Herda, of Pairc Na Saile, Emoclew Road, Arklow, Co Wicklow was a good swimmer and 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 26th, 2013.

The Central Criminal Court heard that she escaped through the driver’s window at the harbour but her colleague’s body was found on a nearby beach later that day. A postmortem exam 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 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 28th, 2016.

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

Counsel for Herda, Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, told Mr Justice George Birmingham that 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 Ó Lideadha said.

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

Mr Ó 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”.

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

Mr Ó 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.