Three generations of same family jailed over teenager left to ‘rot to death’ at house

A mother, daughter and grandmother have been jailed over the death of their 18-year-old relative who starved to death in filthy conditions at their family home.

A judge today described the death of Jordan Burling as “beyond belief” as he sent the three women to prison for a total of eight and a half years.

Left to right, Denise Cranston, Abigail Burling and Dawn Cranston.  (SWNS)

Left to right, Denise Cranston, Abigail Burling and Dawn Cranston. (SWNS)

Jordan was “skin and bone” and weighed less than six stones when paramedics found him lying on a filthy inflatable mattress, covered in pressure sores at his family home on Butterbowl Garth, Farnley in Leeds.

Mother Dawn Cranston, 45, was sentenced to four years and grandmother Denise Cranston, 70, was given three years after the pair were convicted of manslaughter after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Jordan’s sister, Abigail Burling, 25, was cleared of manslaughter but found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

She was given as 18-month sentence.

Jordan Burling.

Jordan Burling.

Jordan died as a result of malnutrition, immobility and infection-riddled sores after being “allowed to decay” before his death.

Jurors were told his body was likened to those of prisoners held in Second World War extermination camps.

Police also discovered the remains of Dawn Cranston’s full-term newborn baby, which had been stuffed into a rucksack, when they searched the property following Jordan’s death in June 2016.

Dawn Cranston admitted endeavouring to concealing the birth of a child.

Jordan died as a result of malnutrition, immobility and infection-riddled sores after being “allowed to decay” before his death.

Jurors were told his body was likened to those of prisoners held in Second World War extermination camps.

Police also discovered the remains of Dawn Cranston’s full-term newborn baby, which had been stuffed into a rucksack, when they searched the property following Jordan’s death in June 2016.

Dawn Cranston admitted endeavouring to concealing the birth of a child.

Leeds City Council and others members of Jordan’s family are expected to comment on the case later this morning.

During the trial Dawn admitted hiding her dead baby’s body in a wardrobe for 14 years but told the court she did not smother him to death.

She described how she put her stillborn baby in a rucksack and hid it in the wardrobe after giving birth in 2002.

The mother said she secretly gave birth in a bedroom as the rest of her family were downstairs watching sport on television.

Dawn also claimed she had pleaded with Jordan to see a doctor shortly before his death but claimed he refused to see one.

She told the court she became concerned around Christmas 2015 when he became ill and lost weight.

During the trial jurors were shown distressing photographs of Jordan’s body as a pathologist gave evidence.

Dr Kirsten Hope said the teenager was in such a poor condition that some of his bones were exposed.

Dr Hope, a Home Office pathologist, said the cause of death was bronchopneumonia - an acute chest infection.

She said the underlying cause of the chest infection was malnutrition.

Dr Hope said the pressure sores indicated that he had been immobile for a long period of time.

She told the court: “The overall state of Jordan’s body indicates neglect.”