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Daughter of woman who starved to death sent to prison

Radio New Zealand Radio New Zealand 27/11/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">An Auckland woman whose mother starved to death at home is set to be sentenced alongside her flatmates.</span> © Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images An Auckland woman whose mother starved to death at home is set to be sentenced alongside her flatmates. Cindy Taylor has been jailed for 13 years and 3 months for the manslaughter of her mother, who was found dead in her own waste.

Her flatmate, Luana Taylor was sentenced to six years and three months and her husband Brian Taylor to six years for failing to help the 76-year-old.

Today's sentencing comes after Cindy Taylor was found guilty of the manslaughter in August.

Ms Dung was found dead in her own waste, covered in open sores, weighing just 29kg and with broken ribs and a broken sternum.

Taylor's friends and landlords - Brian and Luana Taylor, who are not related to her - were also found guilty of failing to get Ms Dung help, despite knowing she was in danger.

Cindy Taylor was also found guilty of withdrawing over $36,000 of her dead mother and uncle's pensions.

Photos of Ms Dung showed an emaciated elderly woman with sallow cheeks and protruding pelvis bones.

One of the emergency staff first on the scene described her as a scarecrow, just skin and bone.

In Taylor's defence, her lawyer Peter Kaye said his client's life was similar to that of the tale of Cinderella and the ugly sisters.

He said Taylor was working long hours on night shift, only to come home to clean the house and care for her mother, snatching sleep when she could.

In her opening address in the three-week trial, Crown prosecutor Natalie Walker told the jurors they could be forgiven for thinking Ms Dung lived alone and had completely withdrawn.

But there was food in the cupboards at 41 Moncrief Ave in Clendon, food in the fridge, cleaning products and a washing machine. There was linen on the beds, every bed except Ms Dung's. She lay in her own waste on a green plastic sheet.

"She had skin tears, visible blood, pus, open exposed sores. There were no signs of antiseptic, disinfectant creams, plasters, bandages. These are all open sites for infection on her mother in a hot New Zealand summer, as she lay in her own waste on a plastic sheet."

Ms Walker said Ms Dung also had 14 broken ribs and a broken breastbone that required immediate medical attention, but instead Cindy Taylor put her in bed.

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