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Flatmate used starved mother in drug ring

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/11/2016

One of three people convicted over the fatal neglect of an elderly Auckland woman who starved to death in a filth-covered bed previously talked the pensioner into taking part in a drug scam, it can now be revealed.

Cindy Taylor, 43, was in August found guilty of manslaughter for fatally neglecting Ena Lai Dung, 77, who weighed only 29kg when she died half-naked in their home in Manurewa on January 16, 2015.

On Monday, she was handed a sentence of 12 years' for the death, and another 15 months for taking out Ms Dung's and an uncle's pension after their deaths to the tune of $37,000 - over which she faced two dishonesty charges.

Luana Taylor, 56, and her husband, Brian Taylor, 62 - who lived with Ms Dung and Cindy but aren't relatives - were also sentenced to 6 years' and three months' and six years' jail, respectively, for failing to protect a vulnerable adult.

It can now be revealed Luana Taylor was convicted after admitting to getting Ms Dung and two others to assist her in illegally obtaining prescription drugs to fuel an addiction.

According to a summary of facts made public on Monday, Luana Taylor travelled with Ms Dung, her husband Hok Lia Dung and Ms Dung's brother Gordon Joe to various hospitals and medical centres around the North Island in July and August 2007, where they posed as tourists and faked ailments to try to get hold of the painkiller pethidine for Taylor.

She was prohibited from getting the drug herself since 2001.

Ms Dung, her husband and Joe in 2007 all pleaded guilty and were convicted of procuring drugs under false pretences for Luana Taylor, who herself later pleaded guilty.

Ms Dung told police Luana Taylor was a friend and said she wanted to help her with pain relief.

At the sentencing on Monday, the court heard Luana Taylor had a total 16 previous convictions for drugs and dishonesty charges.

During the trial, Cindy Taylor said she had fallen out with her mother over the drug conviction.

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