A woman who stole a lion statue at the centre of an attempted exorcism case returned it to help heal her sick sister, a jury has been told.
Janet Moses, 22, died four days later in October 2007 during an exorcism attempt in Lower Hutt.
Nine people are accused of her manslaughter at the High Court in Wellington.
Maori elder Timi Rahi told the court on Tuesday that Ms Moses appeared to be suffering physically in the week before her death because of the theft of the statue from Greytown Hotel.
Mr Rahi says he led a convoy of cars to return the statue, and afterwards Ms Moses seemed more alert and relaxed.
Mr Rahi says he told the family she would heal from the experience, with time and support.