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Daughter denies hand in mother's death

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/08/2016

An Auckland woman accused of killing her mother by leaving her starving and lying in her own filth says the elderly woman was a liar and sometimes pretended to be bedridden.

Cindy Taylor, 43, is standing trial in Auckland accused of the manslaughter of Ena Lai Dung, 77, who weighed only 29kg when she died half-naked in her bed in Manurewa on January 16, 2015.

Ms Dung was covered in bed sores, with 14 rib fractures and chemical burns from her own faeces and urine and lay only on a plastic sheet on which she had defecated.

The Crown says Taylor grossly neglected her mother, causing her death by dehydration and malnutrition, and then kept collecting her and an uncle's pensions after their deaths - totalling more than $37,000.

In an emotional testimony on Tuesday, Taylor said her mother had at times "pretended" to fall down and would lie about not being able to get out of bed.

"You're trying to portray an image of a little frail woman when that's not the case. Ena was very good at lying. She was very deceptive," she told prosecutor Natalie Walker.

Taylor said her mother had told her "When I die you're going to pay".

Ms Dung had refused to eat or drink in the last week of her life and rapidly went downhill, she said.

"She was not denied having water and food. She refused," Taylor shouted, beginning to cry.

"This was a woman who refused to take anything in the end and I'm not getting blamed for that. It's not right!"

Taylor said she was planning to call an ambulance the week after her mother died if her condition hadn't improved.

"In hindsight I should have mentioned ... [it] much sooner."

She had left her mother lying on a plastic sheet and without underwear because she was unable to keep up with the cleaning, she said.

"There were days when I would spend hours in her room cleaning," she said.

"When I left to go to work she wasn't lying in her own waste."

Taylor denied the sores on her mother or the bugs that had started living on her suggested she hadn't been cleaned or moved for a week before her death.

Two other people who lived at Manurewa home, wife and husband Luana Taylor, 56, and Brian Taylor, 62, are also charged with failing to protect a vulnerable adult over Ms Dung's death.

They are unrelated to Cindy Taylor.

"They are good people, they helped my family," Cindy Taylor said of them on Tuesday, adding they had nothing to do with Ms Dung's death.

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