Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

Cindy Taylor found guilty in neglect case

Cindy Taylor has been found guilty of manslaughter. Photo / File
Cindy Taylor has been found guilty of manslaughter. Photo / File

A daughter accused of letting her elderly mother starve to death has today been found guilty of manslaughter.

Ena Lai Dung, 76, was discovered in bed on a tarpaulin, lying in her own excrement, naked from the waist down, surrounded by flies, at a South Auckland address where she was a boarder, when emergency services were called on January 16 last year.

She weighed just 29kg when she died.

Her daughter Cindy Melissa Taylor, 43, has been on trial before the High Court at Auckland charged with her manslaughter.

She denied failing to provide her mother with the necessary care to keep her alive.

Luana Roberta Taylor, 56, and her husband Brian Frank Taylor, 62 - not related to the other defendant - lived in the same house in Clendon Park and denied failing to protect a vulnerable adult.

The jury this evening found Cindy Taylor guilty of manslaughter, as well as two charges of dishonestly using a document.

They also found both Brian and Luana Taylor guilty of failing to protect a vulnerable adult.

The court earlier heard from a paramedic who found Dung lying dead, covered in her own excrement, who described her as looking like a "scarecrow".

One paramedic said there was an obvious smell of ammonia and stale urine when he entered the house and met the three defendants in the front room.

Pathologist Dr Fintan Garavan told the court Dung had no body fat when he examined her.

"I don't think you need to be a qualified doctor to appreciate that's a very thin, emaciated lady," he told jurors as they studied photos of Dung.

The jurors were shown "disturbing" pictures during the trial.

Garavan catalogued the ulcers, bed sores and discolouration to the corpse and highlighted evidence of insects along her legs, usually seen in dead bodies found outside.

The pathologist detailed areas of the skin that had been chemically burned while Dung lay in her own urine and faeces.

He said he was unable to give a scientific measure of the pain Dung would have suffered, but said common sense needed to prevail.

"It's not rocket science, these are not very good things to happen to your body," he told the court.

Justice Edwin Wylie summed up the case to the jury on Friday.

- NZ Herald

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