NewsCrime Desk

Brother of man murdered by co-worker gives harrowing statement

Zoltan Sandor, brother of murdered man Csaba Orsos
Zoltan Sandor, brother of murdered man Csaba Orsos

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 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.

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 post-mortem exam found that 31-year-old Csaba Orsos died from drowning and not from injuries related to the crash.

The jury returned to court at 11.36 this morning, having spent eight hours and 11 minutes deliberating. They had found her guilty of murder by a majority of 11 to one.

Marta Herda

The eight men and four women of the jury returned to court to hear the victim impact statement of Csaba Orsos’ brother read to the court.

Garda Catherine O’Rourke, the family liaison officer, entered the witness box to deliver the statement written by Zoltan Sandro.

“When I had to identify my dead brother, my heart teared apart 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 that, he had since dreamt that his brother was walking towards him on the beach, dead, waking him up from his dream, cold and shaking.

“But next day again I dreamed with him as he was walking towards me pale without t-shirt,” he explained. “I woke up.”

He said that, after travelling back to Hungary, he kept thinking that it wasn’t true and he had to remind himself that he had seen him ‘in the bag’.

“Trying to go asleep or just to watch TV I just looked at the ceiling, having the feeling that the ceiling is coming down, knowing that he is in the coffin,” he recalled. “I had no air, I had to get outside.”

He said that his son was three at the time and repeatedly asked him why he cried.

“I am not the same man who I was,” he said.

“We went through a very stressful time,” he explained. “When I had to tell my family what happened I couldn’t tell my mother. I rung my older brother. I had to scream ‘Yes it’s true, I saw it’.”

He said that his brother couldn’t tell her either. He told her that her son had been knocked to the rocks but the media spread the news fast and he had to tell her the truth.

“She has heart problems, that’s why we didn’t want to tell her,” he explained. “It’s a miracle that she is still alive.”

He explained that his son had loved his uncle a lot and he didn’t tell him he had died for two years.

“Csaba was his best friend,” he said.

He used to give him Kinder eggs, toys and clothes.

“He adored Csaba, all the time playing hide and seek with him,” he continued. “When flying back he asked why Csaba isn’t coming? What could I say, with the coffin in another plane. I had to lie. I told him he went to work on a cruise ship, that’s why he has no time.”

He said that the whole family, including the deceased, had gone to Dublin Zoo just weeks before his death. He said that everybody enjoyed it, especially his son, Milan, who used to say they’d go there again with his uncle.

“They can’t see each other anymore,” he noted.

He said that his wife was five months pregnant when his brother had died and that he was very happy when his wife had asked him to be Godfather to the new baby.

“But because he is dead he can’t see my daughter, Maya, he can’t play with her, they would have adored each other,” he said. “I tell a lot of stories about Csaba to Maya. When my wife took Maya out to the cemetery, Maya climbed up the head stone kissing Csaba’s picture.”

He said the Brooklodge Hotel had kept his position open for a year in case he wanted to return to work. The trial heard that this was also where his brother and Herda worked.

“I didn’t have the strength,” he admitted. “Occasionally I thought about it, ok I return, but I realised I could not work with a smile anymore there, everything would remind me of Csaba.”

He said it was no good without him. He had taught him the language and everything about catering. He said his plan to work in Ireland for a long time had been shattered.

“While at home, I had no work and my daughter was just born, but we didn’t return,” he said. “I collected rubbish in a train station just to have something to spend on food.”

He thanked God that he got a stable job after a couple of months.

He said that he and his siblings rarely talked about their brother.

“Everybody is suffering in silence,” he said.

“My kids are the ones giving me life and strength to survive this horrible thing,” he explained, adding that they were also giving strength to his mother and siblings.

“I wish that the pain that we have, nobody would feel, there is nothing more,” he said.

He said that he was afraid of water and that he got sick and found it scary when it entered his mind that his brother had drowned. He said he had gone for a walk along the river in Dublin a couple of days ago, but had to cross the road because he was afraid.

“I can’t swim and I regret it for all my life because while the emergency services were looking for Csaba I couldn’t do anything,” he said. “I couldn’t jump in to help him.”

He said that he sometimes couldn’t look in the mirror.

“He just wanted to be happy,” he concluded. “Family, kids, things that everybody wants, but he will never have a chance for all this because he died.”