Mother who let teen son Jordan Burling 'rot to death' from starvation freed early after just 2 years in jail

Jordan Burling, 18, was described as looking like a victim of WW II Nazi death camp when paramedics found him lying dead on a bed weighing just 38 kg following a six-month period of extreme malnutrition


                            Mother who let teen son Jordan Burling 'rot to death' from starvation freed early after just 2 years in jail
Dawn Cranston, Jordan Burling (West Yorkshire Police)

The mother of a teen boy who let him "rot to death" on an inflatable mattress in their home and was convicted of manslaughter was freed after serving less than two years in prison. Jordan Burling, 18, was described as looking like a victim of World War II Nazi death camp when paramedics went to his home and found him lying dead on a bed weighing just 38 kg following a six-month period of extreme malnutrition.

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. Dawn, 45, was sentenced to four years in prison. But The Sun revealed on December 20 that the mother will be able to spend Christmas as a free woman after being released from prison. A source told the outlet: “It’s sickening that after what she was found guilty of she is now back walking the streets. She’s not shown an ounce of remorse over what happened or for how Jordan ended up dying.”

Dawn is currently living in a bail hostel in the northwest of England. A source said: “Given what she has been convicted of it doesn’t feel like the kind of place she should be living near to.” But a British Ministry of Justice spokesman insisted: “This accommodation allows us to closely monitor prison leavers - reducing the likelihood of them reoffending.”
 
The shocking details of Jordan’s case emerged in 2018. Sheer neglect led a perfectly healthy teen to waste away and dramatically lose weight till he starved to death in 2016. The teen was found covered in bedsores 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.

Bridget Shepherd, the paramedic who had responded to the scene, claimed at the trial that the dying teen looked "very, very pale and very emaciated" when she tried to treat him on 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". Jordan's diet in the last six months of his life, apparently consisted of five supermarket milkshakes a day. 

Authorities also found the remains of a dead infant, later identified as Jordan's baby brother, that was kept in a backpack for 14 years. The case raised serious questions about how the dysfunctional family managed to escape the notice of authorities for so long. 

During the four-week trial in 2018, prosecutor Nicholas Lumley QC had told the jury: "The fault lies with each of the accused. What met the eyes of the paramedics was a shocking and disturbing scene. Jordan was lying, utterly helpless, on an inflatable mattress in a cluttered living room. He was little more than skin and bones, he weighed 37kg, less than six stones. He wore a soiled nappy under some pajamas. The expert dietitian said they had never seen such malnutrition in 26 years and likened the condition of the body to that found in WWII extermination camps. His heart stopped, his life could not be saved. He expired in that living room."

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514