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A paramedic who rushed to the Māngere home where Lanitola Epenisa was found dead in the middle of the night remembers a strong "decomposing" smell and flies around his body, a High Court jury has heard.
St John staff were first responders after a call was made following Epenisa's death at around 2am on October 2 in 2016.
Karl Ford felt for his pulse, but none was detected. ECG leads were used to detect any electrical activity in his heart. There was none.
"Given the situation of what we smelt, we believed he hadn't just passed away.
"No resuscitation was attempted. There were no signs compatible with life."
Clothed in a singlet and trousers, Epenisa was pronounced dead that night.
Epenisa, 48, was found on a recliner chair next to a bed, in an unkempt room, the High Court in Auckland heard.
The former stone wall builder had died from sepsis, a blood infection brought on from pressure sores all over his body.
Epenisa's wife Malia Li is on trial for his manslaughter.
Ford said "large flies" were seen around Epenisa's body.
"We were taken to the room where the patient was. As I walked in I could smell something abnormal.
"It was a urine and faeces kind of smell and it smelt like he'd been there for some time."
"His arms were cold, so it appeared he had been dead for some time?" defence lawyer Mark Ryan asked Ford under cross examination.
"Yes that's correct," said Ford.
But Ford confirmed "he could not comment" on how long Epenisa may have been dead before paramedics arrived.
Sergeant Andrew Joyce, who attended to the sudden death, said staff had to cut Epenisa's clothes using scissors because they were "stuck to his body".
Large sores were also evident on the body.
"When we were moving the body and his clothing ... it looked like he was stuck to the recliner," Joyce said.
A scene examination was carried out the next day.
The Crown accuses Li of failing to provide adequate nourishment, medical treatment and care for her husband between January and October in 2016.
Epenisa had suffered two strokes among a raft of other health issues, which meant he spent his final days unable to walk or talk.