14 Dec 2017

Woman who left mother to die in own waste loses appeal

5:14 pm on 14 December 2017

A woman found guilty of leaving her mother to die in her own waste has lost her appeal against a 13-year jail sentence.

Coat of Arms inside the High Court in Rotorua

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Cindy Taylor's elderly mother Ena Dung was found dead in her bed in January 2015.

At Taylor's original trial, the High Court was told 76-year-old Mrs Dung was covered in open sores, weighed just 29 kg and had 14 broken ribs.

Taylor was convicted on manslaughter and dishonesty charges.

She challenged the sentence at the Court of Appeal, arguing she was stressed, was working long hours and had to travel long distances for her job.

But the Court of Appeal found Taylor was intelligent, held down employment, and had accepted extra working hours at the very time her mother's condition was getting worse.

The court also rejected appeals against the six-year jail sentences given to her flatmates Luana Taylor and her husband Brian Taylor.

At her sentencing last year, Justice Wylie said it was hard to imagine death in worse or more degrading circumstances.

He said Taylor had committed a gross breach of trust.

"Miss Dung was suffering from severe malnutrition and dehydration, again this must have been obvious to you.

"In my view Miss Dung's basic human dignity was ignored. Miss Taylor your neglect and failure to protect your mother was cruel and callous in the extreme."

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