Manslaughter accused: Mum hid eating disorder

  • 01/08/2016
Manslaughter accused: Mum hid eating disorder

A woman accused of killing her mother by leaving her malnourished and lying in her own filth says the elderly woman was hiding an eating disorder from her doctors.

Cindy Taylor 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.

Ms Dung was covered in bed sores, with 14 rib fractures and chemical burns from her own faeces and urine and lay only on a plastic sheet on which she had defecated.

The Crown says Taylor grossly neglected her mother, causing her death by dehydration and malnutrition, and then kept collecting her pension afterwards.

On Monday, Taylor told the High Court at Auckland she and her mother had a falling out and were not on good terms after Ms Dung was convicted of drug charges in 2007.

"I didn't look upon her like a mother," she said.

She earlier told the court Ms Dung had refused to see a doctor and suffered from bulimia.

But prosecutor Natalie Walker questioned why doctors hadn't picked up on Ms Dung's eating disorder and said the accused was just trying to paint her mother in a negative light.

"That's not true. You made that up, didn't you?" she asked.

But Taylor said she had seen her mother vomiting after meals and said Ms Dung hid her condition from medical practitioners.

The court earlier heard Ms Dung's body was left unclaimed for 10 days at the morgue despite several phone calls to Ms Taylor.

Two other people who lived at Manurewa home, wife and husband Luana Taylor, 56, and Brian Taylor, 62, are also charged with failing to protect a vulnerable adult over Ms Dung's death.

They are unrelated to Cindy Taylor, who says she changed her name to Taylor because the couple had made her feel like family while she was living with them.

The trial continues.