A MOTHER tragically failed her seven-year-old daughter in her last days but did not murder her little girl "to get rid of her", a jury heard yesterday.Barrister Dennis Stewart told East Maitland Supreme Court the Crown's proposition that his client murdered her daughter because the girl was a burden did not bear scrutiny.The woman and her husband, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have pleaded not guilty to murdering their daughter at Hawks Nest on November 3, 2007.Mr Stewart said the Crown was alleging the mother deliberately starved her daughter to death so there would be no signs of physical violence to arouse suspicions."How could one possibly think starving a child to death wouldn't arouse suspicion?" he said.Mr Stewart said the death of the child was a "terribly tragic case" but it was not murder.He said there was evidence before the court that pointed to the mother trying to keep her daughter, not wanting to let her go."You might think that if she wanted to get rid of her daughter it would take one phone call to DOCS [Department of Community Services]: take her away, put her in foster care, she can't cope with looking after her," he said.Mr Stewart said there was no argument from him or his client that she was negligent, that she should have got a doctor to the girl.But he suggested that fell short of proving murder."The tragedy is that she failed her, she neglected to do what she should have done," he said.Mr Stewart said there was no doubt a reasonable person would have acted differently."The situation with [the girl] can only be described as horrific, but [the mother] in her evidence before you said 'I just didn't see it'," he said.Mr Stewart suggested the cumulative effect of circumstances in the mother's life, including her depression and dependency on prescription drugs, might explain her "state of mind". He submitted that the the jury should find his client not guilty of murder.The trial continues on Monday.