Mother and grandmother who did nothing while emaciated teen was 'rotting to death' convicted of manslaughter

18-year-old Jordan Burling was described as looking like a victim of World War II Nazi death camp when the paramedics found him lying dead on a bed weighing just 38kg


                            Mother and grandmother who did nothing while emaciated teen was 'rotting to death' convicted of manslaughter

A mother and grandmother of a teen boy who was allowed to "rot to death" on an inflatable mattress in their home have been convicted of manslaughter on July 10. 18-year-old Jordan Burling was described as looking like a victim of World War II Nazi death camp when the paramedics went to the home and found him lying dead on a bed weighing just 38kg.

The teen was found covered in bed sores because he hadn't moved from the spot in weeks. He was also found wearing a soiled diaper when he died of acute bronchopneumonia in the home in Farnley, Leeds in June 2016. The teen was so weak that he did not respond to any treatment that was given by paramedics inside the house. Authorities also found the remains of a dead infant that were kept in a backpack for 14 years.

A jury at the Leeds Crown Court unanimously convicted the 45-year-old mother Dawn Cranston and the 70-year-old grandmother Denise Cranston of manslaughter. Burling's 25-year-old sister Abigail Burling was found not guilty of the manslaughter charges but was found guilty of another charge of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable person, according to the Daily Mail.



The trial lasted for five weeks and, during that time, prosecutor Nicholas Lumley QC described to the jurors the lengths to which the two women neglected the teen saying: "Jordan had been allowed to decay, to rot to death, by those closest to him, over a period of, at least, several weeks."

Bridget Shepherd, the paramedic who had responded to the scene, claimed that the dying teen looked "very, very pale and very emaciated" when she tried to treat him on the day he died which was June 30, 2016. She also said that the teen's bone structure was very visible and that his mother had told her he "had not been eating for a few weeks".

A few witnesses in the home said that the mother "did not seem bothered" as the paramedics were trying to revive her son with CPR while the grandmother was reportedly sitting in an armchair nearby and watching.

Dawn was reportedly heard telling the 999 operator just before the teen died that she considered his unresponsive state as a "blessing" because it meant she wouldn't have to go in to work that day.

Police Constable Ben McNamara arrived at the home of Dawn and Denise Cranston just hours after the teenager's death.

The police constable who was the responding officer said that the first thing the mother asked him was how much the funeral might cost.

Speaking about the comment, he said: "I was surprised by everyone's lack of emotion. It is a strange thing to say after he had just died."

Another responding officer said that Dawn only seemed concerned about whether she would be able to get her money refunded for a "Zimmer frame and American food" that she had bought for the teen on Amazon.

While giving her evidence at the trial, Dawn claimed that her son had suddenly started losing weight in April 2016 but had decided not to go to the hospital because she was turned away previously for reaching there "a minute late".

She cried during the entire account of the months that led up to Burling's death and claimes that he had "suddenly got to the point where he would not move out of the chair or anything like that". She added: "He did not think he would die. I did not want him to die." Before the trial, Dawn had confessed to keeping a birth in the household hidden after she put the remains of a baby in a backpack for almost 14 years.



After the verdicts were announced on July 10, Gerry Wareham from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Yorkshire and Humberside, said that the teen's death was "one of the most shocking cases" that the agency has ever come across. 

He said: "These women had a duty of care towards Jordan. However, the CPS showed the court that instead, they allowed him to rot to death in his own home. Words cannot begin to convey the extent of Jordan's terrible suffering at the hands of the very people he should have been able to trust the most. Those responsible for that suffering have been found guilty of causing his death."

Dawn and Denise Cranston are set to be sentenced for the manslaughter charges in the case of 18-year-old Jordan Burling on July 12. Abigail Burling will also be sentenced on the same day after she was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable person. The trio have been granted bail until the sentencing takes place.