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Jury goes out in starved mother case

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/08/2016

A jury deciding on the guilt of a woman accused of leaving her elderly mother to starve to death in a filth-covered bed has begun deliberating.

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.

The Crown alleges Taylor grossly neglected Ms Dung - who she lived with - causing her death by dehydration and malnutrition, and then kept collecting her and an uncle's pensions after their deaths - for which she faces two other charges.

The jurors retired to their chamber to begin making their decision on Friday morning, following a summary of the case by Justice Edwin Wylie.

Two other people who lived at the Manurewa home, wife and husband Luana Taylor, 56, and Brian Taylor, 62, - unrelated to Cindy - are also standing trial charged for failing to protect a vulnerable adult.

Cindy Taylor's lawyers say Ms Dung refused to eat and drink in her last days - her health rapidly failing - and that the accused had done her best to care for her mother around 12-hour work days and under financial stress, comparing her to "Cinderella" and saying it was a "living hell".

The trial is in its third week.

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